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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News/Business.  

    July 22, 2011
    1:00 - 6:30pm EDT  

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peter marshall. he prayed in the senate in the 1940's, oh, christ, that we may feel in our hearts the sympathizing jesus. thou has worked -- walked this earthly veal, you know what it is to be tired, to feel the sharp stabs of pain of hunger or thirst, you know what it is like to be lonely, you remember the feel of tears running down thy cheeks. we thank thee that you were willing to come to earth and share with us the weakness of the flesh because we know that you understand all that we are ever called upon to bear. we know that you are still able to do more than we ask or expect so bless us each one, not according to our deserving but according to the riches and
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glory of christ jesus, our lord, amen. from the senate history. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair reminds members to refrain from improper references to the senate. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i move that the house adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands
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>> president obama hosted a town hall meeting on the university of maryland campus. he addressed the house which
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includes a balanced budget. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. [applause] >> hello, maryland. hello. [applause] nice to see you. thank you so much.
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everyone, please have a sea. i see some smart folks out there war shorts. [laughter] my team said i should not wear shorts. my legs are not good enough to wear shorts. [laughter] thank you. i will tell michelle yu said so. it is wonderful to be back in maryland. [applause] i hope everybody is keeping cool, staying hydrated. it is great to be back here in college park. i have a few acknowledgments i want to make, some special guests. first of all, one of the best governors in the country is in the house. [applause] there he is over there.
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by the way, for those of you who have not heard him, outstanding singer and rock-and-roller. if you ever want to catch his band, it is top notch. also one of the best senators in the country is in the house. [applause] we have college park mayor here. [applause] former congressman is here. [applause] you would not know at looking at him, but frank is an outstanding basketball player. he is a point guard. he has all kinds of moves.
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i want to thank your president here. [applause] this is a town hall. i want to spend some time answering your questions. i want to say a few things. first of all, it is nice to get out of washington. do not give me wrong, there is nothing i enjoy more than sitting hour after hour, day after day debating the fine points of the federal budget with members of congress. but after a while, you start feeling cooped up. i am happy to be spending my morning with you.
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i will spend most of my time answering your questions, but let me say a few words about the debate taking place right now in washington about debt and deficit. obviously, is dominating the news. even though it is taking place in washington, this is a debate about you. and everyone else in america. and the choices we face. most people here, whether you're still a student or a graduate or you are a parent, your number one concern is the economy. that is my number one concern. the first thing i think about when i wake up in the morning and a lasting and think about when i go to bed at night. i will not be satisfied until every american who wants a job confined 1 and into workers are getting paychecks that actually pay the bills, until families do not have to choose between buying medicine are grocers,
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between sending their kids to college and been able to retire. [applause] >> we have gone through difficult to 0.5 years. the worst financial crisis and the worst recession we've seen since the great depression. it is no doubt this economy has not recovered as fast as it needs to. a lot of the problems we're facing right now, slow job growth, stagnant wages, those were there even before the recession hit. for a decade, the average wage, the average income of the american worker had flat lined. those of the very top saw their incomes going up 50%, 100%.
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but those in the middle, the vast majority of americans, they have been struggling to keep up before the recession. as john kennedy once said, our problems are man-made. therefore, they can be solved by man. in the u.s., we control our own destiny. the question have to answer is, where do we want to go? what is our vision for the future and how do we get there? in the short term, i have been urging congress to pass a proposal that would give the economy an immediate boost. and these are proposals, by the way, that traditionally have support in both parties. i want to extend the tax relief that we put in place back in
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december for middle-class families so you have more money in your paychecks next year. if you have more money next year, you're more likely to spend it which means small businesses and medium-size businesses and large businesses will have more customers. they will then be in a position to hire. i want to give more opportunities to all of this construction markers out there who lost their jobs when the housing bubble went bust. we could put them to work. giving loans to private companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, rebuilding our enter structure, putting americans to work, doing work that needs to be done. -- rebuilding our infrastructure, putting americans to work doing work that needs to be done. we could make a progress. i want to cut red tape that stops too many inventors and entrepreneurs from turning ideas into thriving businesses. i want congress to send instead
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of trade deals. stamped with the words, made in america. these are things we could be doing right now. proposals and congress as we speak and congress needs to act now. but i also believe over the long term, the strength of our economy will depend on how we deal with the accumulated debt and deficit that is built up over the last decade. and that is what the discussion in washington is about right now. i know it is hard to keep up with the different plans and press conferences in the back and forth between the parties, but here is what it all boils down to. it is not that complicated. for a decade, we have been spending more money than we take in.
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the last time the budget was balanced was under a democratic president, bill clinton. [applause] and a series of decisions were made, whether it was cutting taxes or engaging in two wars, or a prescription drug benefit for seniors that were not paid for, recovery act to try to polis out of the great depression -- all of those things contributed to this accumulated debt. regardless of what you feel about this particular policy, some have supported the wars or post them, some of you may have agreed with the recovery act and some may be opposed to it. regardless of your views on these various actions that were
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taken, the fact is, they all cost money. the result is, there is simply too much debt on american credit cards. neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to this problem, but both parties have a responsibility to solve it. [applause] if we do not solve it, every american will suffer. businesses will be less likely to invest andhire in america. interest rates will rise four people who need money to buy a home or a car or go to college. we will not have enough money to invest in things like education and clean energy or protect important programs like medicare because we will be paying more and more interest on this national debt.
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that money flows overseas instead of being spent here on the things that we need. now, the one thing we cannot do, cannot do is decide that we're not going to pay the bills that previous congress has racked up. that is with the whole issue of raising the debt ceiling is all about. basically, some people argue, we're not going to raise the debt ceiling any more. the problem effectively is saying, we're not going to pay some of our bills. the united states of america this night run out without paying the tab. we pay our bills. we meet our obligations. [applause] we have never defaulted on our debt and we will not do it now.
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but even if we raise the debt ceiling, this debate should not be about avoiding some crisis, particularly a crisis manufactured in washington. this is a rare opportunity for both parties to come together and choose a path where we stop putting so much debt on our credit cards. we start paying it down a little bit. that is what we have been trying to do. so for my part, i have already said i am willing to cut a historic amount of spending in order to reduce the deficit. i am willing to cut spending on domestic programs, taking them to the lowest level since dwight eisenhower. i am willing to cut defense spending at the pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars. i am willing to take on -- [applause] i am willing to take on the rising cost of health care programs like medicare and medicaid of these programs will
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be there for the next generation. for a population generally that is getting older and living longer, we have to make sure these programs, which are the crown jewels of our social safety nets bill-sort of mixed metaphors there. [laughter] that those are there for the future. and some of these cuts would just eliminate wasteful spending like fraud and abuse in the health-care system, weapons we do not need. i want to be honest. i agreed also to target some programs that i actually think are worth while. they are cuts that some people in my own party are not very happy about. frankly, i would not make them if money was not so tight. but it is just like a family. if you have to tighten our belt, he make some choices. here's the thing.
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this is what the argument is about. we cannot just close our deficit with spending cuts alone. if we take that route, it means seniors would have to pay a lot more for medicare or students would have to pay a lot more for student loans. it means laid off workers might not be of the count on temporary assistance for training to help them get a new job. it means we have to make the devastating cuts in education and medical research and clean energy research just at a time and gas prices are killing people at the pump. so if we only did it with cuts, if we did not get any revenue to help close this gap between how much money is coming in and how much money is going out, then a lot of ordinary people would be hurt and the country as a whole would be hurt. that does not make any sense. it is not fair. that is what i have said if
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we're going to reduce our deficits, then the wealthiest americans and the biggest corporations should do their part as well. [applause] before we stopped funding clean energy research, let's ask will companies and corporate jet owners to give up tax breaks that other companies do not get. [applause] before we ask college students to pay more for their education, let's ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes that are lower on their rates than their secretaries. [applause]
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before we ask seniors to pay more for medicare, let's ask people like me to give up tax breaks we do not need and are not even asking for. [applause] look, i want everybody in america to do well. i want everybody to have a chance to become a millionaire i think the free market system is the greatest wealth generator we have ever known. this is not about punishing well, and asking people who have benefited the most over the last decade to share in the sacrifice. [applause] i think these patriotic americans are willing to pitch
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in if they are asked because they know middle-class families should not have to pick up the whole tab for closing the deficit. so this idea of balance, shared sacrifice of a deficit plan includes tough spending cuts but also includes tax reform that raises more revenue, this is not just my position or the democratic position, not just some wild eyed socialist position. [laughter] this is a position being taken by people of both parties and no party. it is a position taken by warren buffett, someone who knows about business and knows a little something about being wealthy. it is a position that has been taken by every democratic and republican president who signed major deficit deals in the past from ronald reagan to bill clinton. i was pleased to see this week the position taken by democrats
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and republicans in the senate, so we can pass a balanced plan like this. it will not make everybody happy. in fact, it will make everyone somewhat unhappy. the easiest thing for a politician to do is give you more stuff and ask for less in return. it is harder to say, we have to cut back on what you're getting any have to pay more. that is never fun. but we can do it in a balanced way that does not hurt anybody badly, that does not put the burden just on one group. so we can solve our deficit problem. i'm willing to sign a plan that includes tough choices i would not normally make. there are many democrats and republicans in congress who i believe are willing to do the same thing. the only people we have left to convince are some folks in the house of representatives. we will keep on working on that. [laughter] i still believe we can do what you sent us here to do.
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in 2010, americans chose a divided government. they did not choose a dysfunctional government. [applause] so there will be time for political campaign but right now this debate should not be about scoring political points. it should be about doing what is right for the country for everybody. you expect us to work together. you expect us to compromise. you have been working hard and doing what every have to do in order to get by and raise our families. you are meeting our responsibilities. so it is time for us in washington to do the same thing, and i intend to make that happen in the coming days. [applause] thank you, everybody. i will take your questions.
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[applause] all right, so the way this works is you put up your hand and i call on me. -- call on you. i'm going to go girl, boy, girl, boy, to make sure it is even and fair. i will start with you. introduce yourself, if you do not mind. >> hello, mr. president. my name is amanda. i am a big fan. i am originally from iowa. >> nice. >> yes. i am an atheist. in 2008, you asserted no organization receiving taxpayer funds would be able to discriminate in hiring or firing based on a person's religion. however, you've not rescinded the executive order that permits this discrimination.
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when it is difficult for a person to get a job based on her skills, what would you say to a woman who has been denied employment because of her religion or lack of religious beliefs by a taxpayer funded organization? >> this is a very difficult issue, but a more narrow one and i think might be implied. it is very straightforward that people should not be discriminated against for race, gender, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. what has happened is there has been a carved out dating back to president clinton's presidency for religious organizations and they're hiring for particular purposes, and this is always a tricky part of the first amendment.
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on the one hand, the first amendment ensures there's freedom of religion. on the other hand, we want to make sure that religious bodies are abiding by general laws. so where this issue has come up is and fairly narrow circumstances, for example, you have a faith based organization that is providing certain services they consider part of their mission to be promoting their religious views, but they may have a takers center associated with the organization or they may be running a food pantry. so the question then is, does a jewish organization have to hire a non-a jewish person as part of that organization? now, i think the balance we
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tried to strike is to say that if you are offering -- if he of set up a nonprofit that is dissociated from your core religious function and is out there in the public to and all kinds of for, then you have to abide generally with the nondiscrimination hiring practices. if, on the other hand, it is closer to your core functions as a synagogue or mosque or a church, then there may be more leeway for you to hire someone who is a believer to the particular religious faith. it does not satisfy everybody. i will tell you a lot of faith based organization's think we are true -- too restrictive and how we define as issues. there are others that think we're not restrictive enough. i think we have struck the right balance so far, but this is something we continue to be in dialogue with faith based
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organizations about to try to make sure they're hiring press -- hiring practices are as open and inclusive as possible. thank you. yes, sir. hold on for the microphone. >> most of the american people on your side about a balanced approach. what we also know is most of the budget cuts are going to be in the out years. why push so hard for a big settlement now when if you pushed hardest and that the american people vote in 2012 and get rid of these hooligans in the house, we might actually have a reasonable settlement, maybe more like a one-to-one relationship instead of three to one or worse. >> the challenge i have in these negotiations is whether i like it or not, i have got to get the
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debt ceiling limit raised. >> [inaudible] >> i will answer that question later. i want to make sure everyone understands defaulting is not an option. there are some other side that have suggested that somehow we could manage our way through. the united states government sends out about 70 million checks every month. we have to refinance bonds that we have issued, essentially, iou's to investors. we do that every week. if suddenly investors -- by the way, a lot of those investors are americans to of treasury bills, etc. if they started thinking that we might not pay them back on time,
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at the bare minimum, they would charge a much higher interest rate to allow the united states to borrow money. if interest rate costs go up for the united states, they will probably go up for everybody. it would be indirect tax on every single one of the. your credit card interest rates would go up, mortgage interest would go up, potentially or student loan interest would go up. ironically, the cost of of servicing our debt as it would allow, which means it would potentially be worse for our deficits if we had a default. it could also plunge us back into the kind of recession we had back in 2008, 2009. it is not an option for us to default. my challenge is i have to get
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something passed. i have to get 218 votes in the house of representatives. the gentleman asked about the 14th amendment. there is a provision in our constitution that speaks to making sure the united states meet its obligations, and there have been suggestions that a president could use that language to ignore this debt ceiling rule, which is a statutory role. it is not a constitutional r ule. i have talked to my lawyers. they are not persuaded that that is a winning argument. the challenge for me is to make sure that we do not default, but to do so in a way that is as balanced as possible and gets us at least a down payment on
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solving this problem. we are not on to solve the entire debt and deficits in the next 10 days. there is still going to be more work after this, and we are trying to make sure that any deal we strike protects our core commitments to medicare, medicaid recipients, senior citizens, veterans. we want to make sure student loans remain affordable. we want to make sure that poor kids can still get a checkup. food stamps are still available for folks who are desperately in need. we want to make sure that unemployment insurance continues for those out there looking for work. there will be a certain set of equities that we are not willing to sacrifice, and i have said we have to have revenue as part of the package. i am synthetic to your view that
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this would be easier if i could do this entirely on my account. it would mean all these conversations that i have had over the last three weeks, i could have been spending time with malia and sasha instead. that is not how democracy works. americans made a decision about divided government. i will make a decision about -- i will be doing my job. an excellent question. young lady right here in the front. .et's get you a mike what is your name? >> i have two questions. is there anything --
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you have obviously had a successful presidency. >> that is not obvious to everybody. appreciate that you think it is obvious. >> is there anything you regret or what have done differently? second question, can i shake your hand? >> i will. do i have any major regrets? you know, i think about this all the time. i am constantly running in my head, did we make the right move here, could we have done more there? overall, an extremely difficult situation, we have made good choices. we have made the decisions. [applause] we have been constrained even when we had a democratic congress because the way the
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senate works, you have to get 60 votes to get anything through the senate. we got a lot of good stuff out of the house that never survive in the senate then. because the dark rules of the filibuster in the senate, it meant that on economic policy i might have done things more aggressively if i could have convinced more republicans in the senate to go along. i do think that in the first year right after we found out that 4 million people have lost their jobs before i was sworn in, i think i could have told the american people more clearly how this was going to be.
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how deep and long-lasting this recession was going to be. that is always a balance for the president. on the one hand, you want to project optimism, and in that first year people were not sure whether the banking system was on the meltdown or whether we were going to go into a great depression. it was important for me to let the american people know we were going to be all right, be able to get through this. maybe people's expectations were that somehow we were wrong to be solved this in the year, and we knew pretty soon after i took office that this is going to last for a while. historically, when you have recessions that our rights out of financial crises, they last a lot longer than the usual business cycle recessions. beyond that, i also think over
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the first two years i was so focused on policy getting the policy right that sometimes i forgot part of my job is explaining to the american people why we are doing this policy and where we are going. so i think of what people were trying to figure out, have all these pieces fit together? the auto industry has been saved, and that was a good thing. that saved a million jobs, the people were not sure how that relate to our housing strategy, health care. i think that was something i could have done better. that is just two items on what i am sure are a very long list of things that i could have done better. having set, -- having said that, the basic thrust of my first 2
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1/2 years has been inconsistent with what i said during the campaign, because i said not only what we were trying to deal with the immediate crisis, we were going to solve the foundation to solve its long- term problems. when we changed the student loan program to take billions of dollars that were going to the banks as middlemen in the student loan program and redirect them so that students, millions more students, would benefit from things like pell grants, that was in pursuit of this larger goal that we have to once again be the nation that has the highest percentage of college graduates and that we have the best skilled workforce because that is what is going to take to win the future. when we initiated health care reform, it was based on a long-
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term assessment that if we do not control of the health care costs and stop sending people to the emergency room for very expensive care, but making sure they got adequate coverage so that they're getting regular checkups and avoid diseases like diabetes, unless we do that, we will go broke on health care spending. when we made the biggest investment in clean energy in our history of the last 2 1/2 years, it is because of my belief that we have to free ourselves from the law corp. -- lock grip that oil has on our security. i will keep pushing on those things that position us to be the most competitive, the most productive nation on earth in the 21st century. i think on that front we have been very successful.
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all right. let me see, this gentleman right here in the blue shirt. >> mr. president, my name is steve. i am a doctoral student. >> are you studying? >> political rhetoric. [laughter] how my doing so far? >> pretty good. but sacrifice is being asked of our generation, so when are our economic perspectives being addressed? when is the war on drugs in society got to be abandoned and replaced by more sophisticated and cost effective program of rehabilitation such as the one in portugal? [applause]
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>> i have stated repeatedly and it is reflected in our most recent statement by our office of drug policy that we need to have an approached that emphasizes prevention, treatment, a public health model for reducing drug use in our country. we have to put more resources into that. we cannot simply focus on interdiction. frankly, no matter how good a job we're doing, when it comes to an interdiction approach, we will continue to seek not only drug use, but the violence associated with the drug trade. this has become extremely
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severe for mexico, and we are working now with the mexican government in part to help them deal with these transnational drug dealers, but one of the things i have said to the president of mexico is we have an obligation in this country to reduce demand. the only way you reduced demand is through treatment and prevention, and there are a lot communities around the country where if you have a serious drug problem and you decide i am going to kick the habit and you seek out treatment, assuming you are not wealthy, because it may not be covered even if you have health insurance, particularly if you are poor, you may have a 90-day wait before you can even get into a program. obviously if you are trying to kick a hat, a weight of 90 days to get help is a problem. i agree with you we have to make sure that our balance in our
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approach is focused on treatment, prevention, and part of our challenge is also getting into schools early and making sure that young people recognize the perils of drug use. now, am i willing to pursue a decriminalization strategy as an approach? no. i am willing to make sure that we're putting more resources on the treatment and prevention side. ok? right here, right in the front. >> my name is mary. i teach government in montgomery county.
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one of the things that we teach our students when we teach them about governmental systems we have, is how important it is in the two-party system to compromise. my students watched the republican leadership after the last election saying things out live like we are not want to compromise with the democrats. does that mean things are changing to do we not use compromise anymore? what should i teach my students about how our government works if people are saying out loud where not want to compromise with the other party? [applause] >> well, this is a -- [applause] i think he should keep on teaching your students the compromise because that is not just how government works. that is how life works great many people here are married? [laughter]
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for those of you who are not but intend to get married, that we just tell you you'd better get used to compromise. all of us have particular views, a particular vision in terms of where we think things should go, but we live in societies, communities, and that means we never get our way 100% of the time. that is what we teach our kids, that is what we teach our students, that is how government has to work. and there is this notion -- i was reading an article on the way over here, and the basic responsible,ama's but he does not find enough for how he believes, and the republicans are irresponsible, but are full conviction.
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this was the way that the article was oppposed. this notion that you are responsible and compromise, the are giving up your convictions, that is absolutely not true. i think it is fair to say that abraham lincoln had convictions, but he constantly was making concessions and compromises. i have the emancipation proclamation hanging up in the oval office, and if you read that document, for those of you who have not read it, does not emancipate everybody. it declares the slaves who are in areas that have rebelled against the union are free, but
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it carves out various provinces, of various parts of every state better in the union, you can keep your slaves. think about that. the great demands of pater was making a compromise in the emancipation proclamation because he thought it was necessary in terms of advancing the goals of preserving the union and winning the war, and then ultimately, after the war was completed, you then had the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. if abraham lincoln could make some compromises as part of the then we can make compromises when it comes to handling our budget.
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you're absolutely right, that the culture is now pushing against compromise, and here are a couple of reasons. one reason is the nature of congressional districts. they have gotten wrong in such a way that some of these districts are so subleased republican or so southern lee democrat -- so solidly democrat that a lot of republicans are not worried about losing to a democrat, they are worried about some 80 on the right running against them because the compromise. if their instinct is the compromise, their instinct of self-preservation is stronger and they say i do not want a primary challenge. that leads them to dig in. you have a media that has become much more splintered. those of you who are of a democratic persuasion are only reading "the new york times" and
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watching msnbc, and if you are on the right, you are only watching fox is. -- fox news. if that is where you get your information, just from one side, if you never even have to hear another argument, then over time you start getting more doug in to your positions. -- dug in to your positions. if you put people in a room to agree with each other, if you just put a crimp of liberal fall -- a group of liberal folks to gather and they're only talking to people for a long period of each, they start to jimm other -- jinn each other up and
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they become more liberal. everybody is demonizing the other side, everybody considers the other side completely extremists, completely unscrupulous, completely untrustworthy. in that kind of atmosphere, it is pretty hard the compromise. -- to compromise. we have to wind back from that kind of political culture. the only way we do it is if the american people insist on a different approach, and say to their elected officials we expect you to act reasonably, and we do not expect you to get your way 100% of the time. we expect you to have strong convictions, but manage the business of the people. if you are sending that message,
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eventually congress will get its. it may take some time. you have to stay on them. all right? gentleman back there, right there. you got a microphone? i am sorry. this gentleman right here. >> good morning to you. i have servile policy -- cerebral palsy, and i implore you to protect services and support for people with disabilities in your negotiations with speaker boehner and leader cantor. it is hard because mr. mcconnell said he wants to make you a one- term president, but the issue is we need a vital therapies that medicaid provides. we need a generous budget so people like me with severe
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disabilities can graduate from high school with a diploma and a college. please do not leave us holding the bag. i lot of people at easter seals are worried. given your experience with your father-in-law, i am sure you will do the right thing. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] thank you. that is a wonderful comment, and the reference to my father-in- law, he had muscular dystrophy, but ended up being pretty severely handicapped by the time he was 30, 35. but still went to work every single day, never missed a day of work, never missed a ball ame of michelle's brother,
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raised an incredible family, took care of all his responsibilities. did not leave a lot of debt to his kids. an extraordinary man. you are exactly right, that the enormous potential that so many people have if they just get a little bit of help -- that has to be factored in when we are making decisions about our budget. if we are not providing services to persons with disabilities and they are not able to fulfill their potential, could the college, get a job, then they will be more reliant on government over the long term because they will be less self- sufficient. that this and make any sense. we always have to factor in, are we being penny wise or pound
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foolish? if we cut services for young people, let's say a lot of states are having to make tough budget decisions. martin has tried to make tough ones here. he has tried to preserve toyland's commitment education. [applause] short term i may saved some money if i lay off a whole bunch of teachers and class sizes get larger and we are giving less supplemental health the kids in need, but in the long term it is likely that those kids and up dropping out of school, not working, not paying taxes, not starting businesses, may be going to prison, and that is
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going to be a huge drag on the state's capacity to grow. we always have to think about how do we trim back on what we need now, but keep our eyes on what our investment of the future years. this is what you do with your own family. let's say something happens, in your family loses their job. you cut back on eating out, will cut back on the vacations you take, if any. you're not going to cut out the college fund for your kid. you are not going to cut out fixing the roof if it is leaking, cause you know if i did not fix the roof of will get water damage in my house and that will cost me more money. the same thing is true here in america when it comes to infrastructure. we have all these broken down roads and bridges.
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our ports and airports are in ible shape.ble we are in need for a next- generation air control system. if we fixed an updated and air control system that was put in place back in the 1930's, if we updated that use gps, the average airline would save 15% in fuel. which some of that you would get in terms of lower air fare. that is 15% less carbon going into the atmosphere, for those of you concerned about climate change. why would we not do that? it costs money to do it initially, but if we make the investment, it will pay off. how much time do we have?
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i have time for one more question. she is standing and waving, so -- >> my name is arla. i'm a third grade literacy teacher in southwest d.c. and i view that the vacation as a catch 22. you are bringing major business to underdeveloped of different cities, but on the other hand, the people who live in the neighborhood, it seems like they are not reaping the benefits. i wanted to know, how can we create sustainable neighborhoods that allow people who are still trying to achieve the american dream and be able to afford and lived in these brand-new neighborhoods and communities? >> first of all, i have to say
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judge a vacation has been -- i had to say that gentrification -- we're probably seeing a lot of cities around the country to reverse a problem which is no investment, people not building new homes, and people not moving back into some of these communities, so they are emptying out. as problems go for cities, this is probably not a bad problem have because it means the city is growing and attracting businesses and new energy. i think this is typically an issue for local communities to make determinations about how you get the right balance, if in fact certain areas of the cities are growing, how deep you make sure it still has housing for longtime residents who may not be able to afford huge
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appreciation in property values, how you make sure that the businesses that are there before are still able to prosper as an economy changes. what we have done is to try to refocus how the federal government assists cities. federal government provides help the cities to the department of transportation, through the department of housing and urban development, health and human services is a lot of stuff to manage services for low-income persons. sometimes law whole is less than the sum of its parts. sometimes there is not as much coordination between agencies when they go into communities. one of the things we have been trying as a new approach to
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urban revitalization is sending one federal team to a particular city to gather all the federal agencies together and say, what is working with the city? what is the plan for this city? how do we get all these pieces that fit together in a situation like you described, we might say how do we continue to foster growth, but can we help some of those businesses who feel they are getting pushed out so they can stay and upgrade and take advantage of these new opportunities? and so far we are seeing some success in this new approach, but for a lot of cities the big problem is not gentrification. the problem is that property values have plummeted. you have a bunch of board of buildings and the question is
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how you get economic activity going in those communities again. this man to call on just because he is a friend of mine and he had his hand up earlier. and he was a pretty good ball player. i'm not sure he was as good at frank, but i hear he was pretty good. >> thank you. you have an open invitation to comcast are we now. frank and i are glad to schedule a pickup game if you like. >> there you go. >> but seriously, we are focused on the debt limit, but this country could be sliding into another slowdown. how do we avoid what happened to president roosevelt in the 1930's? we ought to be focused on getting this economy going again. [applause]
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>> for those of you who studied economic history and the history of the great depression, what tom is referring to is, fdr comes in and tries things with the new deal, but fdr, contrary to myth, was pretty fiscally conservative. after the initial of -- initial efforts of the new deal and it looks like the economy was growing again, he then presented a very severe austerity budget. suddenly in 1937, the economy started going down again. ultimately what really pulled america out of the great depression was world war ii. and some have said, i think rightly, that we have to be careful that any efforts we have to reduce the deficit don't
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hamper economic recovery because the worst thing we can do for the deficit is continue to have really bad growth or another recession. what i have tried to emphasize in this balanced package that we have talked about is how we make a serious down payment and commitment to deficit reduction, but as much as possible focus on those structural long-term costs that gradually start coming down as opposed to trying to lop off everything in the first year or two. and how do we make as part of this package some things that would be good for economic growth right now? back in december, we had a payroll tax cut that saved his typical family $1,000 this year. that is set to expire at the end
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of this year. as i said, as part of this package, we should renew that payroll tax cut so that consumers still have more in their pockets next year until the economy gets a bit stronger. i have said we have to renew unemployment insurance for another year because, obviously, the economy is still not generating enough jobs and there are a lot of folks out there who are hugely reliant on this. unemployment insurance is probably the money that is most likely to be spent. by definition, people need it. it circulates and recirculates throughout the economy and has the effect of boosting aggregate demand and helping the economy grow. as much as possible, i am trying to make sure that we have elements of this package that focus on growth now.
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and then, as soon as we get this debt limit done it will be important to focus on some of the things that i mentioned at the top -- patent reform, getting these trade deals done, getting an infrastructure bank that would help to finance the rebuilding of america and put a lot of workers that have been laid off back to work. we do not have time to wait when it comes to putting faults back to work. what you will hear from the other side is, the most important thing to put people back to work is simply cut taxes or keeping taxes low. i have to remind them that we actually have a sort of comparison. we have bill clinton, who created 22 million jobs during the eight years of his presidency in which the tax rates were significantly higher than they are now and would be
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higher even if what was called for. it generated a huge amount of jobs. then we had the eight years before i was elected in which taxes were very low, but there was tepid job growth. what i am saying is that this theory that the only thing -- the only answer to every economic problem we have, the only answer for job creation is to cut taxes for the wealthiest americans and for corporations is not borne out by the evidence. [applause] and we should be a little more creative in how we think about it. [applause]
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the last thing i will say because we have a lot of young people here, i know that sometimes things feel discouraging. we have gone through two wars, we have gone through the worst financial crisis in any of our memories. and we have challenges and are mentally -- environmentally. we have conflicts are on the world that seemed intractable. we have politicians that only seemed to argue. i know there must be times where you say to yourself, golly, can't anyone get their act together? and what is the world i am starting off in and how do i get my career on a sound foundation? and you have dead you have to worry about -- a debt to you
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have to worry about. i want you all to remember america has gone through tougher times before and we have always come through. we have always the merged on the other side stronger, more unified. the trajectory of america has become to be more inclusive, more generous, more tolerant. i want all of you to recognize that when i looked at each and every one of you, this diverse crowd that we have, you give me hope. you inspire me. i am absolutely convinced that your generation will help us solve these problems. i do not want you to ever get discouraged because we will get through these tough times like we have had before and america is going to be stronger and more
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prosperous and more unified thanks to you. god bless you all. god bless america. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] ♪
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["only in america" boy brooks and dunn] ♪ ♪
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♪ >> president obama is meeting this afternoon with leon panetta and admiral mullen. he will be discussing the ban on openly gay troops serving in the military. we will have live coverage of the defense department announcement at 4:30 p.m. eastern. ♪ before the president's
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appearance, house speaker john maynard told the house it had done its job and it was time for the president and the senate to act. >> the morning my everyone. the house has done its job. we have given the president an increase in the debt ceiling of 2.4 trillion dollars and for that we are asking for real cuts
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in spending and it bounced budget amendment. the house has done its job. -- balanced budget amendment. the house has done its job. and if they do not like our version of cut and balance, guess what, they can amend it. they can change it. they can send it back over to the house. but they have to take action upon the bill. with regard to yesterday, i will say one more time there was no agreement publicly, privately, and frankly, not close to an agreement. i would just suggest that is going to be a hot weekend here in washington d.c. >> good morning. i want to echo what the speaker said. i know the american people are tired and they want to see results. they want to see resolution to this debt ceiling issue and want
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to see some productivity here in washington. if you look at it, we have done and continue to do the work of the american people in the house. we have passed our budget. if we have sent job growth over to the senate. we have passed deals -- we have passed a bill that deals with the problems of this country. what has the senate done? when is harry reid going to put forward his ideas? he keeps saying that somehow the house will not work with him. where are his ideas? when is the senate going to act? when will they show the american people they are willing to do the job that they were sent here to do? >> i hear from the speaker and a leader and you might hear the same thing from all of us because this conference is very united. we have had a short opportunity for the american public to see what cut, cap, and balance is all about. when they look at the debt limit, they want to see a
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balanced budget amendment. this has been true in polls. natalee did we say it before, but we voted for it before. you have to say what you are for. this is too big an issue for america to face. it is not just americans watching. it is also the world. if you are going to lead, you have to step up to the plate. the responsibility -- the senate has an action to take. if they do not like our action, they have to say what they are for. >> in order to help create jobs and save our nation from bankruptcy, the american people want to cut, cap, and balance. the house has done its work. if you do not like our plan, where is your plan? mr. president, if you do not like our plan, where is your
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plan? >> there is a gang of 234 members in the house, a bipartisan gang of 234 members that passed a bill, cut, cat, and balance. we believe it is important for the economy and also for our aaa credit rating. we are anxious for the senate to take action. >> you know our nation is at an historic time in our history and we are right at the edge of a financial cliff, if you will. if you are looking down over the side of the cliff, no rational person wants our nation to default. certainly, by what has happened in the house, we have put forward our plan, cut, a cat, and balance. we know what we have to do and the american people know what they have to do. the senate has to come up with their own plan. this is a bipartisan plan put forward by house republicans
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with quite a bit of support by democrat colleagues as well. we need to get on the right path to fiscal prosperity and fiscal sanity. >> for me to buy this is a deja vu all over again, a yogi berra moment, just like back in the budget debate months ago. the house republicans are the only ones that have passed a plan. we have passed a debt limit increase, and it is not only the best plan, it is the only plan. all the senate can do is demagogue our plan. it it cuts $111 billion out of the next fiscal year budget. that is something like less than 8%. every family in america, every small business has made an adjustment like that already to
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their books. what could be radical about that? it caps spending a 20% based on a 30-year average. if my kids set a goal to be average, would i consider that a radical? and if requested a balanced budget amendment. it does not go to the states. the senate needs to pass cut, cap, and balance. >> since january, house republican leaders have been telling rank-and-file members we have to pay our bills and cut about our credit cards. we have swallowed that. we have voted to raise the debt ceiling against our strongest wishes. we have also done it in a way that is -- that standard and poor's and moody's said they
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needed. they need something structural that the full face of credit in the united states mean something. that is what cut, cap, and balance does. we have fulfilled our obligation. we're going to go upstairs and vote on matters, including jobs, on middle income americans to make their lives better. in the meantime, we challenge the senate and the president to either pass our plan or come up with your own. but the attention is not on the house anymore. go stick your microphones in the faces of the senators and president and say, we want to see your plan. the house is done. >> mr. speaker, it has been reported that you are considering eliminating the mortgage interest tax deduction through the debt limit deal. are you going to support that? >> that has never been discussed.
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>> he would not support that? >> the senate is voting right now to table cut, calf, balance, so realistically, i know you are a happy lawyer at the moment, but what is next? >> if they do not like our version that two-thirds of the american people support, then what is their plan? they can make amendments to it and send it back over. >> right now, since we are running out of time we need time to pass a bill. >> that is why the house acted earlier this week. >> at what point in time to you need something to avert these issues? >> that is not what the goal is. we have to raise the debt ceiling and we have to have a serious down payment on reducing our budget deficit and our debt.
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>> given the stakes here, are you willing to make the kind of tough choices that could include your speakership in jeopardy? -- that could put your speakership in jeopardy? >> we had to pass something that would make serious changes to our spending and the way the american people spend money. >> we hear these reports about health care reform. >> there is no deal. there is no agreement or deal in private. as a responsible leader i think it is my job to keep the lines of communication open. i talked to democrat leaders in the house and senate, republican
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leaders. i have talked to the white house about keeping the lines of communication open. but at the end of the day, we have a spending problem. someone has to get serious about cutting spending. and our friends across the aisle are not at all serious about doing what the american people are demanding, spend less. >> [unintelligible] >> and about an hour after those comments, the senate rejected the house republican bill to cut spending and require a balanced budget amendment. the vote was 51 to 46. steger boehner haut -- speaker painter spoke on the house floor just after word -- speaker john boehner spoke on the house floor just afterwards.
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[no audio] >> washington is less than two weeks away -- [no audio] >> it is called cut, cap, and balance. we have done our job. the democrats around washington have done nothing. they cannot stop spending the american people's money. money. they won't and they have refused. the sate majority leader says they won't offer a plan 20 cut spending or a plan to raise the debt limit. frankly, that's irresponsible. mr. speaker, where's their plan?
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president obama talks about being the adult in the room. where is his plan to cut spending and raise the debt limit? we're in the fourth quarter here. we're fighting for jobs. we're fighting for the country's future and w >> if you want to be informed about what is going on in the world, particularly in politics and government, it is not hard. c-span has archives that you can watch going back 30 years. you can watch anything that happens the house or senate chambers right there on the screen. there are sources of information that were unimaginable 20 years ago. >> c-span video library makes it easy to follow washington.
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all searchable, cheryl, and free. the peabody award winning c-span video library. >> this weekend on both tv on c- , the harlem book fair. afterwards, sally jacobs on the life of barack obama senior. look for the complete "book tv" schedule at booktv.org. >> revisit the the civil war this weekend on american history tv on c-span3. sunday we are live from the manassas battlefield on the 150th anniversary of the battle of bull run.
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and watch civil war programs throughout the weekend. historian. -- peter carmichael said the social and political factors that led to the onset of the war, and the challenges that face both this -- both the north and south as they prepared their forces for battle. get the complete began to schedules -- weekend schedule and c-span.org/history. >> members of congress have gone home for the weekend. one plan by the gang of six would cut $9 trillion over the next decade. this morning on "washington journal" we talk to one of its members about what is in it. this is about 40 minutes. journal" continues. host: we are pleased to have senator tom coburn back at the
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table. he's joined the so-called gang of six in the senate which he left earlier, and also announced a $9 trillion debt scheme atic. we'll be talking about this and more. senator, headlines suggest that if there is a deal being crafted between the speaker and the between the speaker and the senate that your democratic colleagues in the senate are angry about being excluded from it. people are watching this mere yad of discussions. how do people understand where things are right now? guest: i don't really understand where they are. if they have negotiated something they agreed to, why would they complain? it is the whole washington silliness of complaining because you don't know what's going on. nobody knows what's going on except the principals in the
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room, and when they come to something they file feel they can build a case for on both sidesthey will put it out there. i was a part of the gang of six discussion. the idea is to get us moving. they should be listening. maybe they need to offer something themselves. that's been the problem. we haven't had any offers. we have seen the republicans offeri multiple things. we have a bill on the senate they are going to table that actually fixes the problem, raises the debt limit, and they don't want to vote on it, so we're going to table it. so i think it is all political posturing. host: you know frequently this town works to the brink. is there anything different about this time? do you think a deal will be done?
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guest: i certainly hope so. the root for us, as every american, is if we don't get a deal done, i think it will cost us a half of one percent. even if we got a deal done 10 days later, i think it costs us a half of one percent. that's $75 billion a year in terms of the damage to our credit. increased interest cost. i think another thing we need to do -- you have to ask what the problems. the problem isn't the negotiation between the republicans and democrats, it is not between the president and the speaker. the problem is for us to maintain our debt ratin we have to have a program that cuts about $4 trillion at a minimum about $4 trillion at a minimum over the next 10 years. every interest interest grurengs i was listening to your calls beforehand. every interest group says they don't want to get touched. the fact is every interest group
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will be get touched. everybody that's comfortable with their benefit is going to be a little less comfortable if we're all as a country going to get out of this. host: we had a number callers saying congre should cut its own salary. i have a washington post article saying coburn should leave by example. what are you offering? >> cut our salary by 15%. actually, there wouldn't be anything wrong with cutting our salaries until we decrease the budget deficit. cut our expepses back 15%. we cut them back 5% this yeamplet in other words make us have to do some of the hard -- i mean, our budgets are ludicrous. i trim back $600,000 every year. >> you are allocated money --
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>> that i don't need. what you have to ask is, if i can do that, can't everybody? that's 20% of my budget. host: your 900 trillion pla where is it going to go? >> it ising going to go anywhere now. no one is looking at it. this is thfirst time they have researched what gao has said what the congressional research has said, what the individual inspector generals have said, what o.m.b. has said, plus we what o.m.b. has said, plus we have done our own research and said, gosh, given all these facts, common sense would say you do this. so there are 3,000 references in there to studies on our recommendations that we've made. and so i hope it becomes a place where people go to find out information about what we can cut. we could have done more.
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england just recently said you could recently cut 14% out of the pentagon. his assessment is that you could cut 14% of the civilian payroll out of the peg -- pentagon. that's $150 million over years. that's a lot of money. host: what do you say about this being a naive cut? guest: washington doesn't cut because washington cares more about being re-elected than they do about the public. it comes from a lack of courage to stand up and do the best right thing for our country. when you are threw up -- through up here and you get out and the country is belly up r. you say,
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well i believe careerism is killing us. term limits and a balanced budget amendment, term limits and a balanced budget amendment would fix everything that's wrong with washington. wrong with washington. host: you answer this twitter questioner, which says, "would you vote for the house balanced budget in a recession?" guest: yes, because it will take a period of time for that to move through the states. we have to be careful how fast we cut, but we need to cut and we need to cut quickly. otherwise we're between two lanes. if we don't cut quickly enough, we're going to have the amount we cut in offset with increased interest costs. if we cut too fast, i mean, we can cut fast, but if we cut too
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fast, we'll have a negative impact on our economic growth. so we have to go down that line. that's why $4 trillion is a minimum. host: in the wall street journal this morning, his name is peter shelkin, he is a co-editor of understanding america, the anatomy of an exceptional nation. second year at law school. he one paragraph. "i can think ofo other law that would alo judges to exercise more budget-making decision than a balanceed budget amendment. even if the courts simply did their job and did not grasp for that power." guest: we have a judge sitting on the bench today that should be impeached.
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the fact is you will never control washington with today's politicians until you put a idle and a bit in their mouth that says you can't spend money you don't have. it won't hatch l happen. -- it won't happen. host: one more column. grover nor quift has a piece where he is explaining his position on taxes. "read my lips, no new taxes. why republicans should not relent." he was on our program and talking about you specifically. we want to replay that quote. >> the difference of opinions between coburn and americans for tax reform, between coburn and the 225 members that signed the pledge is we are for tax reform but not for t increases, and coburn vote forward a $2 trillion tax increase when he
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endorsed obama's deficit plan. all three members of the republicans in the gang of six not only took the pledge not to raise taxes but then wrote me a letter saying, look, we are not going to raise taxes. we just want economic growth. i'm for that. coburn has publicly said in the past that he likes tax increases. that passed him by. the republican leadership in the house made it clear that if coburn continues to be for tax increases, he's on his lonesome on that and no one else has joined him. host: senator coburn? guest: i think he represents the silliness of our political system today. i don't want to raise taxes. i think it is terrible that we would have to raise more taxes. but if we're going to get in agreement in washington to fix our problems when those of us don't want to raise taxes control theouse of
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representatives, don't control the senate, don't control the white house, it is pretty stupid and naive to think you are going to win that battle. i would rather fix our country and lose a battle with grover norquist then send our country norquist then send our country down the tubes and raise a point of view that is suicide. the fact is, in is a lot of way to enhance the federal government. reforming the tax code is a great way to do it. we have to get $4 trillion. that doesn't go away no matter what anybody says. the president didn't have a deficit plan. the president's commission had a deficit plan. he never enbraced it. you see the games played with the numbers, which aren't accurate. realistic things. plus, revenues are at the lowest point. we're at 15.8%. revenues are as a percentage of
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g.d.p. i think there are tons of tax credits and things in the tax credits and things in the tax codes that are unfair that we ought to eliminate. anybody that gets something out of the tax code today in terms of the tax credit and the tax spend tour, you are paying for it if you didn't get one. it is a matter of shifting costs around. if you don't have a special deal on the tax code that you can take advantage of, you can actually pay more taxes. host: here is part of the plan, reduce the deficit $9 trillion over 10 years. reduce medicaid and medicare spending by $2.6 billion. eliminate $1 trillion in tax
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breaks. that is part of senat coburn's plan. the "gang of six "budget's plan is to reduce the deficit $4 trillion over 10 years, overhaul the tax code $1 trillion, immediate spending cuts of $500 billion. caller: i appreciate what you are saying, but i think the whole problem of everything that we're going through in this country right now has to come down to one simple thing. and that is separate ralte racial of powers. now, a lot of people get this scon trude with oh, you mean separation of church and state. no. well, yes and no. in their derrick the church was the big power. kings and queens could not move without the permission of the church. nowadays it is big business.
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when you have big business influence washington, d.c., people like yourself, this is what you are going to get. you cannot have foxes guarding the hen house. host: all right. your response. guest: if you talk about specific tax credits, i think he's right. i don't think it is just big business. i think it is the aarp, i think it is the big labor unions. i think it is everybody. e whole fact is the federal e whole fact is the federal government is too big and it is in areas it shouldn't be. if you read theonstitution, you also read the enumerated powers which gives limited powers to the federal government and specifically states everything not listed here is reserved for the people in the states. the reason we have a $3.6 trillion, $3.7 trillion budget, is a trillion and a half of that or more is stuff that's not our responsibility in the first place. sho look, i'm one of the few
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republicans that stands up and says i think we need to eliminate some of these tax loopholes, but i think we need to do it in a way that doesn't grow the government. host: here's a comment from kevin mccarthy. he writes "projected entitle ments are between 25 and 50 billion. why are we not more focused on cutting this spending instead by fixing the current epidemic of illegal immigrants in the u.s.?" guest: that's a good question. we are at the point where there ought to be nothing that we are not doing. we ought to be looking at everything. this spring i spent three days all across arizona where the va majority of our problem are. that is not an unfixable
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problem. the problem is, we're not getting straight answers from the department of homeland security. we're not completing what we know will work. we're not training new border patrol agents to be as effective as they can because they don't have the language skills. we put them out there without the language skills. they are right. the senate hast done anything this yeabecause the leader of the senate doesn't want to take his votes. his votes. there's an election coming up in 18 months. that's crazy. we haven't had a budget in 2 1/2 years. the reason we haven't had a budget is they don't want their member to cast a vote that might be cast in a way that might hurt them in election.
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host: another caller. caller: i wishou would add eye -- i wish you would add "investors' business daily" to your list of newspapers. host: ok. caller: i pmise if they drafted you, you woo get at least one vote from connecticut.
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we would have to have a balanced budget amendment. you mail in a balance each yea as the government came outith this number, people would be aware if the government was going to cost them more money or less money each year. i thought that was a reasonable way to approach this. i would be interested in your answer off the air. thank you. guest: you're welcome. it is a novel idea. i'm not sure i want the government to tell us what the tax rate would be every year, but it certainly would get us even gauged. you are talking about a modified flat tax for everybody. i think we ought to go on and do the national sales tax where --
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host: in lieu of income tax? guest: yes. it is embedded into our income tax system and the products we export in this country and make us super competitive around the world, it would re-enhance manufacturing in this country, because it would offset, the taxes would be taken out of the products that we prode. it would be a great way for us to actually grow our economy. it is simple. people say they barter. we have $300 billion a year. people don't report income
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taxes. everybody would know what it costs. if you delegate to the states, it will be done more efficiently it will be done more efficiently and economically. host: an example? guest: education. we have spent $2.6 trillion since the department of education has been open. we have bureaucrats in washington telling teachers and administrators in oklahoma how to take care of kids, wt to do for kids who have no concern whatsoever on them, and when you look at the metrics, susan, of the success of our educational system, there is not one parameter that's better. so why not take that money and just send it to the states and just send it to the states and let the states do what they do
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better than what we do. what we have don we have lost our educational advantage, and it needs to be returned to the states. we can do that in the $9 april april. host: there is a question, if it host: there is a question, if it is that promising, senator co burn, why isn't there a bill? guest: there is a bill. they won't let it get to the floor.
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caller: i watch you on the senate floor all the time. senate floor all the time. i wish you wld consider running for president. we need you. you are probably one of the most honest men in our government. i wish you could consider one suggestion. i would like to see a bill past that there wouldn't be any campaigning until -- you couldn't possibly raise the money with us, and that would make it a lot better for our election system. thank you so much and please consider, please consider running. we would all vote for you thank you.
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guest: the presidential race is 16, 18 months away. it is causing us not to focus on the oblems at hand, and we are seeing people make decisions based on a re-election 16, 17 months from now. that's why i believe in term lits. i believe if we had term limits for the members of congress, you wouldn't see as much foolishness. people wouldn't be trying to gain advantage partisan wise. they are -- we have seen a
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difference in how things work. the angst would be less. people would be coming here to get somethingone before they come home. host: the next caller is from san antonio. this is mike. you are on for the senator. .
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guest: think about that. you cut $9 trillion and it is still bigger than it was in 2001. we implies a 3.5% growth in the size of government. size of government. we can't afford it. we don't have an economy that can afford it. we can't afford the inefficiencies that come from that sizable government. it's hurting us. host: next caller. caller: senator coburn i would like to thank you for taking on grove norquist. i think there is something treasonist about making someone take a pledge above and beyond
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what they take in the oath of office. my concern is, while i believe we have a spending problem, we also have a revenue problem. that comes from an understanding of who owes whom what. the operating budget owns trust funds to, for example, the sociasecurity trust fund, $2.6 trillion. some people say, well, that's an illusion. but the funds collected were not an illusion. it only became an i illusion when it was put intohe unified budget and was moved to pay for expenses. so if tax funds are an illusion, congress is the ma jigs. we need to repay that money. that is it why there is a revenue issue. while i think there is spending cuts, i do think an honest budget which will require you all to destroy the unified all to destroy the unified budget and then require individual balanced budgets for
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the operating budget, for the trust fund, but only after the operating budget has returned the i.o.u.'s to social security and to medicare. i believe there are 110 of those trust funds. smaller ones that are paid for by fees. please destroy the unified budget. thank you very much. and thank you for what you are doing. i think you are honorable. i just disagree with the way you are doing it. guest: i think she's dead on. there are 120 trust funds we've stolen the money from and spent somewhere else. you hear social security doesn't need to be reformed. the reason it needs to be reformed is because it isn't sustainable. we can't ever borrow the money in the markets because congress has stolen that money and spent it. we have to borrow against it.
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what we have to do is reform it so we have to borrow from those and make it sustainable. i think she is right. they use it to r that money. so she didn't have a tax increase for it. ever since, we have been dishonest about the american people about the true cost of things and implied that we can afford to do things that we really can't. host: what are the main areas that contributed to the government. guest: every year the federal government has grown, the defense department, it is out of control.
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in terms of its purchasing of weapons systems. no one is spending money and how. there is a gray area of generalized government in all sorts of government. just wait. it is going to be about 45% of anybody that has real health insurance through their employer. we can find each agency and how it has grown. sa, even though don't have a manned space flight going on now after the shuttle without going through the russians, yet
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their -- not on getting anyone into space. i would make this point, susan. we -- host: there is an extreme spending gap between the wealthy earnings and the stale wages of everyone else. guest: what are you going to do? right now, do you want the country to grow? we would tax thoseeople that
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have the capital that are going to create the jobs in this country and give it to the government rather than decrease government spending and allow that money that they were going to tax to go into productive jobs? the reason you have $3 trillion sitting on the sidelines in sinesses not being -- if you take all this money, we would still have about a $700 billion. let's takeverybody's money, all of it that makes $250,000. that doesn't solve our problem. it doesn't come close to solving our problem. it is a pipe dream. weave to be careful. the thing that built this country is the hope that people can get ahead, that can make it to a plateau. if you start saying, we're going to punish you for going there, there is not going to be jobs created, and we will continue to
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export all our jobs. host: next caller is tiffany, republican in rancho, coucamunga, california. caller: i just wanted to say that i support some of your ideals, however as a middle class person, it is difficult for me to support you as far as your tax increases not being the 35 or 39% that they are supposed to because everybody else is hurting. i look at my budget, and i say, i really can't afford to give anymore. my salary is not in -- increasing. if your plan keeps your belly fat and i'm starving over here. i think we need to do a little something a little more balanced. thank you for taking my call.
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guest:: we need to lower rates ultimately to we get more money invested in the economy, and that will be $150 billion in revenue to the federal government and economic growth. en say to you that the government is twice the size it was 10 years ago, you have to ask a question, is the problem revenue or is the problem been able to get out of control? the government has no business being in the business it is in. we have 180 programs for economic development that comes
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to the economic development of the states. there is area upon area where our hearts are big, great intentions, but the fact is, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. the very mistake would be, if we don't cut the $7 trillion or $8 trillion in my plan and you don't raise taxes, we are toast. we won't ever reverse it. we have more of a means testing
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on the upper hand. as you increase the taxes on social security, social security benefits. they have to pay them back out. we totally revamp the disability program. we're in the midst -- the senate we're in the midst -- the senate committee is totally investigating the i.r.s. on their disability program. whether it is a judge that had a 99% approval rating but did 72% of cases for two lawyers in virginia. that's going on across the country. social security administration is part of disability. 1-18 people in this country is collecting a disability check. i can tell you that 1-18 people
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in this country are not disabled. i can give you personal experiences. people have to look around. what happened to them? the law says if there is any job you can do in the economy, you are not disabled. yet we have had a system, the sts social security -- the social security system implies you are disabled and we have to prove you are not. it needs to be the other way. we have undermined self-reliance in this country. in this country. now we hear people who can't do it. we can't because i'm not -- we have families with 14 members that are collecting social security checks oeach? i mean, it is out of control. if someone is truly disabled, i want to make sure we're here to help them.
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but i am planning on coming at you if you are stealing from the system. .
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people who are saddling us with these illegal aliens to cost us billions each year. billions each year. guest could you get to your point? guest: the implementation and impracticality would not work. impracticality would not work.
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these programs cost a ton of money and nobody would miss it except the people in the program. we need a renovation of ideas and a renewal that says we are going to get back to what made us great. about just like a national sales tax. you will see an economy that booms. it will boom. we still have the same american spirit. it is there. it has been stifled because the government has smothered us. host: we have heard discussions the senate may be in session. we are not sure yet. we will stay tendency. all this to ticks closer. >> "washington journal" also wanted to find out how democrats arguing deficit reduction negotiations. we talked with the democratic
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campaign committee chairman for about a half hour. host: let me introduce you to the congressman from new york who has the job of getting democratic house members elected and reelected. thank you for being here. i want to put this headline on the table. it caught my attention. democrats in a volcanic move. -- mood. what is the temperament among your colleagues in the house? guest: we need to increase revenues, but we should not ask the middle class to bear a disproportionate share. we should not and medicare businesses -- benefits to senior citizens. there are smarter alternatives that protect our seniors and strengthen the middle-class.
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when anyone says the key to reducing debt is ending medicare, reducing medicare benefits, but saying to somebody making over a million dollars that they get a $100,000 tax break at the end of the day, we're going to be wrongheaded. we are not went to agree with that. host: are you concerned about the discussions the white house is having with the speaker? guest: this has been a roller- coaster. show me a day, and i will show you another agreement that peters out by the end of the day. we said at the end of the day this is what we want. a balanced plan, a plan that reduces spending, maybe more than we would ordinarily care for, but that also increases revenue. if you are a small business, if you are sitting around your kitchen table trying to balance a checkbook, you know that when you have a debt you have to reduce your spending and get
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more revenue. we want to see a balanced plan that does not ask the middle class to suffer. i am sure there will be democratic votes for a plan before august 2 that achieves those objectives and that is fair and balanced for the american people. host: it sounds to me like you are confident there will be a deal struck. guest: i am confident there is a recognition by most republicans that not extending the debt ceiling would be catastrophic for our economy. they would have to go back to their districts and explain why the credit card rates skyrocketed, why their pensions are at risk, why the stock market is in a freefall, why 401k is disappearing. there is a greater recognition that we cannot afford to fail, and we are figuring out how to succeed. i hope that between now and august 2 -- i think it needs to be before august -- there is
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going to be a sense of common sense. let me say one other thing. senator coburn, your guest earlier, has ignored that the people are willing to compromise. you have 80 party group that have said before they even see it, that they will vote against it. how you reach a compromise with people who will not even have a conversation on a compromise? at the end of the day, the burden will be on speaker boehner to find a smart package for the american people that sustains our economy.
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host: the congressman has the responsibility of electing democrats to the house of representatives. you started a medicare action center. what is that about? guest: one of the fundamental debates this year is whether we should and medicare. this is pure and simple. no debate. no matter how you look at it, it and medicare for seniors. i think that is going to be one of the central issues of this election. elections have consequences, and so do votes on the floor of the house. from the moment republicans brought the gavel down on the and to the medicare benefits for seniors, we said we would hold them accountable. we are doing that. we needed 25 seats to take back the majority to protect medicare. now we need 24. there was a special election in one of the most conservative
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republican districts in america, and the proposition was simple. do you want to vote for the ryan plan to and medicare, who or do you want to protect medicare and maybe ask the wealthy to pick in a -- to chip in a little more, rather than and medicare. the people of the 26th congressional district spoke loudly. they wanted a democrat who would protect medicare. based on that victory, we believe there are going to be similar referenda on the republican plan to end medicare throughout the country. host: in your campaign to recruit candidates for 2012 -- explain what the 25 is all about. guest: after last november, we needed 25 seats to take the majority. the branding is already stale because we had a special election in new york.
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it is now 24. that is the number of seats we need to retake the majority of the house of representatives, protect medicare, protect social security, make sure kids can go to college, make sure there are cops on the street. it will take 24 seats for us to do that. host: for the people who handicap these elections, they suggest your job is tough this year overall because you are defending a -- there are less seats in play, is basically what it is. guest: i will agree this is a tough job, but i love the challenge. i will say most of the data punchers, seat counters, and pundits have also said that the real hurdle is the republicans. they have to defend over 60 seats. democrats had that problem in
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2010. we had to defend over 60 seats. it is a little different in 2012. they have between 60 and 80 incumbents. i believe most of them are out of touch with their districts. we only have to defend between 12 and 15 of our incumbents. host: with more governors in state houses, how are you going to do with redistricting? guest: with all those republican governors in all the states, they have dozens of seats. but it turns out it is going to be a wash. if you do not take my word for it, read those pundits. in real time, as of today, the projection is that the republicans may pick up a handful of seats at the end of the day. maybe the democrats will pick up a handful of seats. it is going to be a wash. most americans care more about
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medicare. they care about their taxes. they do not want to pay more taxes while the richest are off the hook. that is going to be the issue in this campaign. that will win votes. host: how important is the outcome of this debt debate on your success? guest: the dat debate, the importance of the outcome has less to do with my success than the survival of our economy. there are some times when you have to put politics aside and focus on your responsibility to govern responsibility -- responsibly. this is one of those moments. i do not make a political calculation with respect to what happens on august 2. i do make a public policy calculation. we have a challenging opportunity. the opportunity is to do something about the levels of our debt. the challenge is to make sure we are not asking the middle-class to bear a disproportionate
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sacrifice in the pursuit of the opportunity. host: roll-call has some numbers of how the campaigns are doing money wise. it looks like you are on an equal footing. your june total is $6.20 million in cash in hand. the overall cycle total so far is $36.70 million. the republicans are at $6.68 million. they have a similar overall cycle total of $33.50 million. what do those numbers say? guest: those are encouraging. after november, we had a $20 million debt at the congressional campaign committee. we cut that by more than half. maybe that teaches a lesson to some republicans that are driving up that with tax cuts for the rich. we cut our debt by more than half.
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the republicans had just come into the majority. we reached out to our grass- roots donors. we raised a million dollars with an average contribution of $32. it takes a lot of donors. when we beat the republicans in january, february, march, and april, we beat them for the first quarter. they beat us this quarter, but not by very much. i do not know that this is ever happened, that the party in the minority is at parity with the party in the majority. it tells me that people agree fundamentally with our choices, and the fact that we have been competitive in fund-raising with the republicans bodes very well going into the election cycle. caller: mr. israel, yesterday
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the unemployment numbers came out for the 15th week in a row with 400,000 people unemployed. we have over 30 million illegal aliens in this country, doing what you people claim americans will not do. i have worked in construction my whole life. i have done all those things. we did those things. we cannot get those jobs anymore because people like you refuse to do something about these illegals. the first thing out of your mouth is racism. it is not racism. the american people have to have these jobs. we cannot pay social security tax. we cannot pay medicare tax. we cannot pay no tax because illegals are working under the table. host: let us get a response from the congressman. guest: i do not know what about the past few minutes leads you
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to believe i said that. i am sorry you heard those words, but there were not said. just like with the debt ceiling, we need a balanced approach. we need a compromise. i have for a long time advocated a balanced approach that would do two things. i believe we need smarter and better enforcement at our borders. i supported those steps. we also need a path to deal with people who have come here and stayed here. we have offered a compromise, which john mccain supported early on. it says that if you are willing to pay a fine, pay a penalty, pay back taxes, and meet other benchmarks, we would consider making you eligible for citizenship. if you are not willing to play by those rules, you will be that is the kinf compromise we need. stronger enforcement at the borders, deal with the millions
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of people who are here. if you just have border enforcement and are not for any kind of path for those who are here, you are going to be disappointed. if you are only for legalization and not border enforcement, you are going to be disappointed. there is a need for compromise. that plan represents a step forward. it represents progress. i hope we will be able to develop the kind of compromise and consensus necessary to fully address this challenge. caller: the republicans keep saying that we cut here and we cut there. these jobs are not saved. how much have we given to corporations, to big oil and everybody else? and where do these jobs go back to china, to mexico, to other
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countries. they do not pay taxes on this money. we have the stupidest law, this equal thing with nafta and everything else. they pay less to import their stuff back here than we pay to export our stuff out. this is where the jobs are. until somebody gets some brains down there and figures this out, stop giving money to corporations. stop giving money to big oil. let us stop this stuff now. that is the only way to bring jobs back and get money in taxes. stop giving money to corgses. -- corporations. that's the only way you are going to go to get money in taxes. you account for unemployment because they are drawing money. you don't count the people actually out of jobs. guest: first, i think you are absolutely correct.
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you understand that there is a connection between jobs, job growth, and debt. you cannot reduce job growth without debt. you cannot have jobs in america when you are essentially subsidizing corporations to sift subsidizing corporations to sift those jobs overseas. when somebody works, then they pay taxes. they may not like to pay taxes. i don't know anybody who does. but when somebody works, they pay taxes, and that helps fund the critical services they need for benefits. including the troops fighting in iraq, afghanistan, and elsewhere. what we need to do is have a growth agenda. we need to reprioritize. so instead of subsidizing off-shore jobs, we are subsidizing the growth of manufacturing here in the united states. let me make my second point. this is what the is about.
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republicans put a bill on the floor that they call cut, cap, and balance. i called it cut, cap, balance, wink, and nod. it absolutely wasn't real. if you just lost your job, because it was out sourced. if you are the c.e.o., you made the million dollars, you get a $100,000 check in the mail tax cut. how is that fair? backbone of the american economy. and the bill on the floor was a kick to the stomach. we need solutions defend middle
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class than those who provide tax holes for the middle class. host: i want to ask about yesterday what was provided for the public? guest: if you were an auto broker, yeah, it was a good deal. but going into that deal, most was recouped. at the end of the process, yes, over $1 billion, if you are an auto worker, and you are checked your job, and we have a job
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analysis in the united states, and we need to make more back. host: how do you feel being owned by fiat? guest: not happy about it, but we had a meltdown in this country, we had banks collapsing, and we did what needed to be done to rescue the economy. no one was happy about it. but sometimes you have to rise to the occasion and use the tools you have to ensure you don't have that break. caller: would you explain how ryan budget would end medicare? guest: sure, now you go to the
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doctor, and the doctor takes care of you and they are reimbursed. under the ryan plan, you have a doctor on the plan, your expenses may or may not be paid by that voucher. the congressional budget office said for that expense for seniors, that voucher would leave you out of pocket. that's the medicare benefit. that's the medicare benefit. under the ryan plan,
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caller: why should the department of education exist? but first, let us talk about the corporate situation. the labor movement in washington -- i am very upset
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that a corporation, after giving full employment to the workers in washington with no cut, and a new contract that they negotiated -- boeing as a corporation decided to put another plant somewhere else in this country. this country. the tax laws of big oil, ok, are not strictly written for big oil, but for corporations across this country. if you want to get nasty, why don't you adjust all the corporate tax and not just pick on big oil? but let us get back to boeing. help me understand the
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legitimacy of the labor movement that would bring a suit against boeing, saying that they are creating a payback attitude when they spent a billion dollars building a plant, i believe in north carolina or south carolina. host: it is in south carolina. caller: so they could create, here is a thought, more employment? guest: you and i will have a respectful disagreement on this. what we need to do is strengthen the middle-class. in economic history, the middle class has been strengthened by the labor movement by things like the five day work week, by saying you cannot ask people to work overtime without compensating them, by fundamental rights in the workplace.
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i support the labor movement. i am not going to make specific judgments. but there is a corporation that is making a decision to escape their responsibilities or evade their responsibilities. i believe there needs to be due process. there needs to be a process that judges those decisions and that issue. that is why i am where i am on this. host: is and medicare going bankrupt? what is the democrat plan to save medicare? guest: will negotiate to strengthen and to medicare. guest: we have said that we will negotiate to improve medicare and reform medicare. we will not negotiate to cost seniors out of pocket, and that's number one. my final point on this is simple, we can find efficiencies in medicare and we can find
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efficiencies in medicare, but those savings ought to be put back into strengthening medicare. they shouldn't be to fund tax cuts for people making over 1 million dollars. we should not use medicare and use those savings for tax cuts that are doing fine. or for companies offshore jobs. this needs to be a shared fund, and i agree that we need to strengthen medicare and use those for medicare. host: the fact that medicare fraud in the billions is reported for years. why has congress not done anything about the reports to that extent? guest: there are a variety of
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ideas to address fraud. there is fraud overall, and it's fraud everywhere. so my point is that's where we should start. let's start going after the $60 billion fraud in medicare, and not ask the senior citizens to shell out of their pocket. and that's the difference between republicans and democrats. host: rochester, new york with congressman israel, joe, you are on the air. caller: you ask great questions. senator, i used to be a supervisor and went to a big grocery chain and burger king and i can't get away from the anger of people. and a lot of points brought up.
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the word medicaid never comes up, we have a welfare system of billions of dollars being used by people that will never get out of that thing. it's a generation of family after family and never get the pride of using a first paycheck. and other things, i will tell you what people are saying. they are saying that a lot of people in congress, the senate and washington are the same people that made the mistake that put us in the predictment right now. people are saying that they are afraid of the administration, there is a lot of anger in the communities. when you go to one stop and people are asking questions. i don't know what to say, unless don't give up i will let you answer that question. guest: thanks joe, i understand
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there is a lot of anxiety out there. the strength of this nation has always been its ability to overcome challenge. we have faced this challenge before. rather than speaking in rhetoric, let me give you a specific solution to what we can do about the challenges we have. where democrats and republicans in the past kroocooperated. we have had job crises since the american revolution. and you know what this country has done when we face the economic challenge we have now? we built with our hands, we built our way out of those. after the revolution, you know what we did, we built the eerie canal, we knew we could grow the country, the tennessee valley
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authority, the works progress and civil core. in the 1950s, dwight t. eisenhower, one of my favorite president helped with the crisis. and those who went with the plan to make a safer democracy, didn't have jobs. and he said fine, we will build bridges and roads and built that highway system. why aren't we doing that again? instead of everyone blaming and do what went right, and build again. i believe we should be able to find bipartisan compromise on an infrastructure program. that is not just a public sector, but pools private capital to rebuild our bridges and airports and broadband.
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we have 135,000 bridges in america that the federal government has deemed insufficient. we have roads whose pavement is unacceptable. joe, i live in rhode island and i drive over the tapestry bridge and those know that it needs work. we have stopped invested in the infrastructure. but meanwhile in china they are rebuilding bridges. and we ought to be building that bridge and assembling that bridge, and that's how you create jobs. every dollar you put into the
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infrastructure provides jobs. and that's what we need to do, and that's what we need to do, quit arguing about what has gone right. and start learning from what has gone right. create jobs and build our way out of this. host: just a few minutes left before the house comes back into session and our program ends. max, you are on the air. caller: yes, thank you, susan for take "math line" call. -- my call. i noticed that there was not a democratic vote. i hear this conversation about tax warfare, and everything else, and this plan does this and that, when will we see a democrat plan? when will we see what president wants to cut? what democrats want on the
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table? why we don't have a budget for the two years they are in charge? i want to know yeah, class warfare, it sounds great but what will we do to fix our problems? thank you. guest: max, thank you for the question, and i will remind you that the president submitted a budget to congress for revenues and spending cuts. the last thing that the democrats did when in majority we voted on cuts. so the fact of the matter is that we have proposed budgets, we have passed budgets, we have made those cuts. now moving forward, here is what we are saying to the republicans who are in the majority of the house of representatives and now
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have the responsibility of passing a budget. we will work with you and provide votes based on the parameters i mentioned before. it protects the middle class, it it protects the middle class, it does not end welfare and it strengthens our economy and it does add jobs. you call that class warfare, i call it fairness. i call it fairness to a family with kids in collge, we ex-president obama is meeting this afternoon with -- >> president obama is meeting this afternoon with leon panetta, the
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new defense secretary, to discuss the repeal of the don't ask, don't tell policy. we'll have live coverage of the defense department announcement at 4:30 eastern. >> would that have been like, to have met these people when you did not know the ending? >> erik larsen followed the rise of adolf hitler and the third reich in his latest book, "in the garden of beasts." >> ideally, we need the story told by outsiders, ideally americans. that is when i stumbled across the u.s. ambassador to germany. >> the politics and intrigue in nazi germany. sunday on "q&a." it takes a behind the stacks look. it is required tv viewing. it solves mysteries even nicolas
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cage cannot conjure. the it c-span documentary "the library of congress," sunday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span. the c-span networks. we provide coverage of politics, public affairs, non- fiction books, and american history. it is available on television, radio, online, and on social media networking sites. find our content any time through our video library. we go on the road with our digital bus, bringing resources to your community. it is washington your way, now available in more than 100 million homes, created by cable, provided as a public service. leon panetta was formally sworn in today as the defense secretary. vice president joe biden conducted the ceremony. mr. panetta previously served as cia director for president
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obama and white house chief of staff during the clinton and ministration. he was a member of congress for 16 years. the swearing in lasts about half an hour. >> please stand for the arrival of the official parties. ladies and gentleman, the vice president of the united states, joseph biden, and mr. and mr. panetta -- mrs. and mr. panetta.
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♪ ♪ ["the star spangled banner"]
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>> right shoulder.
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>> please be seated. ladies and gentlemen, the vice president of the united states, and joseph biden. >> well, mr. secretary, distinguished guests, former secretaries of defense, mr. speaker, speaker foley, cabinet members, members of congress, you may be wondering why we are doing this, mr. chairman, in light of the fact you have already been sworn in. there is a reason for this. because since the time he has been sworn in he has been back out to his home district. we are worried he has changed his mind. so we are doing this twice to
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make sure we get it right. sylvia, as you know, leon and i have been friends for more than 30 years. you're standing here today, sitting here today, for the second ceremony, the ceremonial swearing-in. it is proof positive that no good deed goes unpunished. you were a tremendous congressman in spite of living with congressman newsmen -- russo. you were chairman of the house budget committee at a critical time. the balanced the budget. you moved us in that direction. you served president clinton admirably as the director of the office of management of the budget, again in demand -- in a moment of crisis. you served as chief of staff later. we were able to convince u.s. and soviet to join the administration, to run the cia. in every one of those endeavors,
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i can say without fear of contradiction -- in every one of those endeavors, you left the institution you worked with in better shape, in every single one. when you were director of the cia, morel was down. you're reminded the american people of the incredible job these folks do, culminating in your work on probably the most daring rescue effort ever, to get osama bin laden. everything you have done, you have done really well. you've made the process better. you've made the people you work with the is good as they are. the reward, if you call it
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that, for your extraordinary service, it is yet another challenge, may be the most challenging post. it is an honor to call you a friend and to welcome you to this new role as america's 23rd secretary of defense. i know you agreed that this maybe is the greatest honor you have ever had bestowed upon you. the privilege to lead the women and men who everyone in this auditorium knows, without fear of being accused of hyperbole, are the finest fighting force, the greatest warriors, the world is literally ever seen. you are also arriving at the pentagon at a time of great challenge to our military, not only in afghanistan and iraq, but the budgetary challenges that face this country. in a little over a month, we will mark the 10th anniversary of the american 11 -- of the september 11 attacks.
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184 people were tragically taken out by the attack on this very building. we will renew our commitment to america's durability, to remain vigilant to these old and new threats that we face. we will redouble, with your leadership, our efforts to discuss -- our efforts to defeat the terrorists that plot against the united states, adding to the great work you have done at the agency. we will express the american people's appreciation for our armed services, all those who wear the uniform, and your families. the families of this 9/11 generation, and it is hard to think about it -- from 9/11, we are 10 years away from that date. a lot of these kids were 12 and 15 and younger at the time that this attack took place. they stepped up, this young
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generation. not just them, but others. more than 2,800,000 service members have been on board since the 911 attacks, knowing full well they faced the almost certain prospect there would be deployed. in the case of many in this room, deployed multiple times, into some of the most horrific terrain we have ever fought in. never before, in my view, has america asked so much of a volunteer force. that is why i believe the 9/11 generation has earned its place. all this talk about this young regeneration not stepping up -- the president kids me all the time, it saying give me a break. they have stepped up. although only 1% of our population is fighting these wars, that 1% is made up of some
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of the most extraordinary men and women we have known in any generation. their accomplishments have been extraordinary. toppling the taliban. training afghan forces. putting al qaeda under unprecedented pressure, killing osama bin laden. our troops have battled a brutal insurgency, given the iraqi people an opportunity for a better future. it is in their hands. although it does not always make the headlines, every day our forces are serving with distinction in far-flung corners of the world, from western europe to east asia, faced with relentless adversaries. our troops have proven themselves, proven to be a generation of not only warriors but innovators, led by men like
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admiral mullen, who i have always respected. as i have worked with him every day, i have grown to respect him even more for what he has done. the master new languages, develop and employ advanced new technologies. they have taken on responsibilities once reserved for colonels and generals. the responsibility has extended beyond the battlefield. i was talking with my good buddy two days ago. it is astounding what you guys have trained these young men and women to do. they not only have to be warriors. they have to be politicians. when i was in afghanistan not too long ago, i was up in the mountains on the other side of the valley. i am talking to a young captain. he is telling me the distinction between the tribes that are up
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there. the all were pashtun, but he gave me this history lesson. he knew more about the culture than most professors could teach you about it. in the process of all of that, he was a warrior. every night, he was on that hill, getting fired at. we expect them to do everything. we put so much pressure on all of you, so much pressure. all the rest of our agencies do not have the capacity, when these wars broke out, to get done the things you could do. you have inherited an awful lot of obligations that really should be in other departments. but you do it because you are the best. you are an incredible outfit. my respect has grown in ways that are hard for me to describe, traveling in and out of these areas 15, 20, 25 times.
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what the american people do not know is the breadth of the responsibilities you give a kid who is 24 years old or 25 years old. we have to always remember that this progress has come at a price. we honor those fallen angels who have made the ultimate sacrifice over the past decade, the more than 1666 in afghanistan, 4477 in iraq, and over 40,000 wounded war years, many of whom will need medical care for the rest of their life. thank god they're going to have long lives. i am literally in all of these troops, and i know you are too. i am also one of those -- in honor of those blue star mothers and fathers. they have done something for the country we can never repay.
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our nation has only one sacred obligation. we have obligations to our elderly, our young, our poor. but we have only one sacred obligation, and that is to prepare and equip those we send into battle, and to care for them when they come home, to keep that commitment. let me conclude by saying that just like secretary gates, i know how you feel about these kids. i am getting so old, i guess that all kids. i was in iraq not long ago, in one of those awful palaces, all these guys gathering around me. i stood in the chair and said "you young people." a guy from the back yells, "63 years old." so they are not all young. but the all courageous. leon, a think the pentagon is
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getting something special with you beyond all your management capabilities and all your knowledge. that is your heart. just like bob gates -- it was evident when he was leaving a much she cared and understood the sacrifices these kids were making. you bring that with you. i think you are about to leave it -- you are leading the most awesome institution in the world. president obama and i, and indeed the american people, are fortunate to have a leader with the skills, the experience to manage it, and the hard to understand it. i want to thank you, sylvia, and i sincerely mean it. i gave up willingham. she gave up carmel. there is a difference. willingham is were beautiful. but it is not like indiana. but giving up carmel is a
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different deal. i want to thank you both for being willing to do this. i want to thank all of you assembled in this whole. this is the most incredible institution in the world. i thank you. may god bless america and may god protect our troops. [applause] >> now we are going to swear him in again. >> mr.>> the you solemnly sweari will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that i will bear true faithful allegiance to the same, that i
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take this obligation freely, without mental reservation or purposeful evasion, and that i will faithfully discharge the duties of the office in which i am about to enter, so help me god. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the 23rd secretary of defense, leon
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panetta. >> thank you very much, mr. vice president, and my thanks to all of you. dear friends and colleagues, people that have had an opportunity to work with from my career, thank you for being here to join all of us in this new challenge that i take on. i want to begin by thanking the president for placing his trust and his confidence in me. i am truly humbled by the responsibility and the opportunity that has been given to me at this great moment in time, to be able to head this great department, and to take on
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the mission of protecting america and our interests around the world. mr. vice president, thank you for your kind words, thank you for your friendship, and thank you for administering the oath of office. we go back a long way, through a number of challenges dealing with all kinds of issues that both of us have had to work on, and we have developed a close relationship in that time. i am glad i have been able to give you a small break from budget negotiations. i'm sure you want to get the hell out of there for just a few moments to be able to break away, but i also want to thank you for your efforts. you are doing a great job, and i know how challenging it is, but i appreciate the great efforts you are making.
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it is something we all know, irish,e's heritage is and mine is italian. and our parents, as young people growing up in these families, always taught us to speak plainly and directly, and sometimes that has gotten us in trouble. as a result -- [laughter] as a result kamakura there was -- as a result, there was some talk here of trying to put a seven-second delay on the microphones for the ceremony. but i cannot imagine why the hell that would be necessary. my deep to express
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gratitude to the members of congress that are here today. many of them are dear old friends from my days on the hill. and i truly appreciate the fair and prompt hearing that i received in the senate, and i deeply appreciate the strong vote of confidence. as a creature of the hill, i pledged to all of you, to all of you that i will continue to work closely with members of both of those great chambers on the hill and that i will continue to work with both political parties. i cannot do this job without you. it is that simple. i really believe that congress has to be a full partner in the department's mission of protecting america and that we
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must be stronger in confronting those challenges, and the only way we can be stronger is if we work together. and so i appreciate your oversight. i appreciate your guidance, and in particular, i appreciate your partnership. much of the civilian and military leadership of the department is gathered here as well. german -- chairman mullen, i thank you for your leadership and our continuing guidance as i take on this job. and i want to express my deepest thanks to the outstanding service chiefs, the service secretaries for their guidance,
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there counsel, and support, and in particular, i appreciate their insights into the needs of the men and women who serve out there on the front lines. there needs and the needs of their families. -- their needs and the needs of their families. on a personal note, i want to thank my family. my family has been tolerant beyond all measure during 40 years of public service, and above all, i want to thank sylvia, who is here today. my three sons, my six grandchildren have been a great source of pride for soviet and -- for sylvia and i.
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that is the story of my family. and the story of my family tells you a lot about what america means to me and to all loss. as you know, my parents were immigrants from italy, and they believed deeply in the american promise. they brought to this country a willingness to work hard, because they knew that if they could make use of the great opportunity that was here, they could give their children a better life. and that is the american dream. it is what they wanted for their two sons, is what we want for our three sons, and hopefully it is what our three sons want for
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their children and their children. when i was growing up, my parents always made clear how important it was to give something back to this country, because of the opportunity that they received. and it was their inspiration, plus the time i spent in the military service for two years, plus the words of a young president who said, "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." that is what brought me the public service, and for me, it meant in many ways fulfilling that dream that my parents were about and what all of you are
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about -- making sure that our children have a better life. , at is the principle fundamental principle, that activates everything that this department is all about. it is what our men and women in uniform are committed to, and they are willing to put their lives on the line to try to make sure that we have a secure and better life for our children. when work every day to try to ensure our fellow citizens and our future citizens and generations of americans are able to enjoy that better life. i believe there is no better guarantor of our security and
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ultimately our freedom than the strength of america's house armed forces, and the dedication and skill of those who serve this country in uniform. this is a time of historic challenge for this department and for our country, and change will only accelerate challenges we face. the auditorium, this auditorium that we are in stance only a few hundred yards from where terrorists attack the pentagon's on 9/11. that day, when the nation suddenly understood that we had to confront a new and uncertain period of conflict.
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unlike the cold war, we now face a multitude of security challenges, dangers that are spread across the globe. these threats are daunting, to be sure. but these past few years have also shown the world that america, with our strong intelligence and military capabilities, is up to that challenge. we will not back down. when our homeland is threatened. we will do whatever it takes to defend this country, and no one attacks the united states of america and get away with it.
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we have been relentless in the efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda, and al affiliate's,mist and ultimately, that effort culminated in the operation to get bin laden. i believe that we are within reach of achieving the strategic defeat of al qaeda, but to do that, we have to continue to put pressure on them wherever they are. if we do, and if we continue that commitment, then ultimately we will succeed. we remain at war. we are a nation at war today.
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but there is also hope there as well, that ultimately we can achieve that degree of stability that will ensure that these countries we are fighting will never become a safe haven for terrorists, become a safe havens for al qaeda or their militants, will never become safe havens from which they can attack us. in afghanistan, an american and international fighting force has dealt the taliban a serious blow, and it has put us on a track where we can make that important transition and give the responsibility of governing and securing their country to the afghans themselves.
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and thanks to the heroic sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, i believe that we are headed in the right direction and that we will be able to achieve the goals we seek, but we must remain committed to that effort. iraq has emerged from four more decades of dictatorship and turmoil, but again, thanks to heavy sacrifices of the u.s. military, our coalition forces, and the iraqi people themselves, this country now has the opportunity to become a stable democracy in a very unstable region of the world.
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but again, it demands that we stay committed in order for that happen. beyond afghanistan and iraq, the u.s. bases, as i said, a multitude of other strategic and institutional challenges. we must reset a stressed force, we must prepare for emerging threats, cyber attackers, nuclear proliferation, rising powers that will demand that we work towards greater transparency and better diplomacy. and we must do all we can so that we recognize that in this effort we do not have a blank check from the american people,
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that we will face the physical challenges that confront us, but we will do it in a way that maintains the strength of our country. based on my long experience in government and in working with budgets, i really believe that we do not have to make a choice between fiscal discipline and national security. by setting priorities based on sound strategy, based on good policy, we can focus a strong and innovative defense policy that confronts the future and deals with the threats that we will face in the future, and that focuses those resources we need at those threats of today
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and tomorrow. we must continue to be accountable to the american people. for what we spend, where we spend it, and what the results are. but i am confident, from the years that i have spent working on budgets and confronting the issues that are part of having to deal with budgets, that we can do this in a way that will strengthen us for the future, that will make us more effective, more efficient, and will not break faith with the men and women who served this country -- who serve this country. that brings this to the last point, and in many ways my most important responsibility at the secretary of defense, which is
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to protect those that are protecting america. in my three weeks as secretary of defense, i have had to sign deployment orders, but i have also had to write condolence letters, which is one of the toughest cass tasks that a secretary has to confront. i have traveled to the war zones, and i have met with service members on the front lines. i look into their eyes, what i am looking into is the heart and soul of this country -- soldiers, sailors, airmen,
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marines, willing to put their lives on the line to defend their country. i am truly awed by the dedication of that young generation that is willing to do that. and like my good friend and predecessor bob gates, i will be a tireless advocate for them and their families. i will never forget the consequences of my decisions, the strain, the sacrifices, and sometimes the heartbreak involved in sending those men and women into harm's way. we must -- we must respect the
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dignity of every person who is willing to put their lives on the line for america. every day, they are making extraordinary sacrifices for all of us, and so are their families back,. we owe it to them to make sure that they have what they need to accomplish their mission, and to also support their families back home. esther vice president, dear friends, and my colleagues, i am again deeply thankful for this opportunity that i have been given to do my part in protecting this country, this country that i love and this country that provides the men and women who serve it in
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battle. i will tell youa, that i will always be committed to protecting that dream that my parents were about when they came to this country, which is to ensure that all our children have that better life. thank you for your support. may god bless the men and women who are out there serving us, but most of portly, they got less the united states of america. thank you. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes this ceremony if. please remain standing for the departure of the official party. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[unintelligible] >> leon panetta was sworn in this morning at as the new defense secretary. this afternoon he will repeal the don't ask tell policy. live coverage of the defense department announcement beginning at 4 pop 30 eastern. until that, a look at the house hearing. >> to appear before you today to discuss the plans for the repeal
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of legislation commonly referred to as don't ask don't tell. as you have acknowledged, general casey is unavailable to purchases pay into the's -- into today's hearing and he appreciates everybody's thought stirring this difficult time. general casey says the fight in december before the committee stating his belief that while the implementation of the repeal of don't ask don't tell would add yet another level of stress to a force already stretched by nearly a decade of war, it would be more of a cold in combat arms unit and it would in general we be more complicated an endeavor than the reviews suggested if properly implemented. it would not preclude our force from accomplishing its worldwide mission is to include corporate
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operations. general casey assured members of the committee that we have a disciplined force led by experienced leaders who with upper written guidance can be relied along -- relied upon to oversee the implementation of the repeal with moderate risk to our military effected this in the short term and to our ability to recruit and retain america's all volunteer force during along all. he assured the members that if directed to implement the repeal, the army would work closely with the department of defense to make certain the implementation is conducted successfully, in a timely fashion, and in the same disciplined manner that has characterized our service to the nation for over 235 years. i stand by the chief's previous remarks. peanut =-- he does as well. since that hearing, the army has
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begun to deliver process of training and educating our force on what the repeal means in terms of regulation and policy changes. as in everything we do, ultimately the success of our implementation plan rests on the shoulders of our leaders. as such, our plan is based on ethod ofging ma training. this insures that all officers, soldiers, armed civilians, and interest in family members are properly and sufficiently educated on this important policy change. its potential impact on them, and our expectations of them. to this end, general casey's clients is clear -- leadership matters most.
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in february, general casey personally led the first session with all four-start general , and the judge advocate general, chief of chaplains, and the deputy chief of chad -- staff for personnel. i participated, and i can attest the process works. the chain teaching program facilitates thoughtful, constructive dialogue between leaders and the board of. this dialogue is really important, especially at the lowest levels, where ownership and consent as are most critical. soldiers'response has so far been positive, and we cannot assume there will not be opposition within our ranks in the days ahead. we recognize there are some segments of the force, primarily within combat arms, that have expressed concern regarding repeal. on the whole, are forced is
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stressed by nearly a decade of war, a war that is not over yet. mindful of these considerations, we recognize that we are to mitigate the risks to readiness, recruiting and retention, we must continue to do this deliberately, training is just a start. although i am confident our efforts to implement -- >> we will break away and take you live to the pentagon where they are ready to stop enforcing the don't ask, don't tell policy. the possibly -- the policy officially ends 60 days after the notification. >> to implement repeal, and that those policies and the implementation are consistent with standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, and confusion,
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and recruiting and retention. yesterday afternoon, defense secretary leon panetta and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral michael mullen, each signed and transmitted to the president that written counters sent -- confirmation, that in their judgment, the statutory certification has been met. as we -- as with all aspects of the repeal process, they're written confirmation was based on consultation with and advice and input from the service chiefs, service secretaries, and combat and commanders, unanimously reported that the services were not prepared -- prepared for repeal. those instruments were transmitted to the white house last night. afternoon, secretary and that and sherman mullin met with president obama, and an hour ago, the secretary, the
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secretary of defense, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff all signed certification documents and that document has been transmitted to congress. hurt the requirements of the don't ask don't tell repeal implementation will come into effect 60 days from now, specifically, that date will be tuesday, september 20. with me here today are the undersecretary of defense dr clifford stanley, who led the repeal implementation effort. major general steve hummer, virginia penrod, who was chairwoman of the implementation team, and jay johnson, and co- author of the comprehensive
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review report. undersecretary stanley as a brief remark to make, and at that point we will then bring up general hummer and others and open the floor to questions on the details of the repeal of plantation, process, and of the next steps. mr. johnson will be available for questions as relevant. i would ask that you hold questions until general hummer and ms. penrod come up here. undersecretary stanley, the podium is yours. >> thank you for coming here today, and this afternoon the president, secretary of defense, chairman of the joint chiefs, sure fiat and they are satisfied with the advice to the chiefs and the combat commanders that
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the services are ready demint the repeal of don't ask don't tell. consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention in the armed forces. repeal will take effect on september 20, 2011. since we began trading the force in march, 1.97 9 million service members have been trained in regarding the policy changes associated with the repeal. and throughout this process, we have engaged the services. feedback was consistently positive. training was being well received and there were no issues or barriers are rising. as we move forward to repeal and beyond, we will continue collaborate with the services, to ensure peace with the address any issues or questions that may arise. i want to thank the repeal and
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implementation committee and those who have been deeply invested in this process since its beginning. over the past seven months, the people in this the car but have developed materials and established training teams and programs provided that training to almost one. 79 -- 1.79 million service members. i want to take a moment to thank our most viable component of our national defense. these fine men and women represent our best by exemplifying core values and the oath they took the defend this great nation. the remains the policy of the department that sexual orientation is a personal and private matter. to treat members without dignity and respect and to ensure minutes of good order and
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discipline. there will be zero tolerance for harassment, violence, or discrimination of any kind. this policy change is all about leadership, professionalism, discipline, and respect. i know our service members will continue to private represent this department and its high standards as they do each day. thank you. >> would now like to invite general hummer and ms. penrod. the general has a few opening remarks to give you a sense of where we have been and what the process is at this point and the issues before us. general? >> thank you. good afternoon. what i would like to do here in a couple minutes is talk about what have we were asked to do as a repeal implementation team, i give you what we did, happens for the next 60 days through
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repeal, what we have reviewed, and what we have yet to review. the president signed the act on december 22. in january, to repeal implementation team was activated in the month of january. we were tasked to conduct implementation with maximum efficiency and minimum disruption to the force. to do this, the repeal implementation team operational lies the comprehensive review working group's support plan for implementation. this was a blueprint that we carried out over the last six months. the department of defense worked steadfastly over the last six months to prepare the necessary policies and regulations to implement repeal. and to train 2.2 million service members, including separate
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training for our senior civilian leadership, also chaplain corps members, judge advocate committee on the implementation or implications, i am sorry, of repeal. it is the general consensus of the military departments that this thoughtful and steady approach at educating and preparing to force in revising policies and regulations has laid the groundwork for a smoothest transition. training materials were developed based on the support plan and package to facilitate a low bandwidth and non- traditional training setting, including slides, narration, frequently asked questions, service specific information, and separate training for senior leadership, chaplain corps members, jet advocates, etc. the training focuses on the changes in the policy effected
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by the repeal of don't ask don't tell. the issue, professionalism, discipline, and respect are the focus is. this will enable any change in policy to be executed with minimal disruption -- the destruction of the force as leisure continues to emphasize and treat all members with dignity and respect. the services have been carefully executing eight deliver it and thorough rollout of the necessary training. each service began training on oil for march 1 of this year. to date, majority of the fourth, 1.79 million service members have been trained, and training will continue throughout the next 60 days through repeal. the repeal act does not require the services that completed training prior to repeal. while there is no deadline for the completion of the services,
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services that their eight goals to complete training for the preponderant of the force. all services have met their timeline goals and the army, guard, and reserve are on track to complete their training on august 15. ing ofition to the train co force on in the case of the repeal, the department of defense has undertaken a comprehensive and thorough review of regulations and policies to identify those that require revision to insurer going forward policies and regulations will be neutral with respect to sexual orientation. these revised policy will be effective on the date of repeal, 20 september, 2011. the majority of dod and regulations remain the same as they are already sexual
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orientation neutral. here are some of the major policies he had made determinations on. the first is a sessions separations and read a sessions. upon appeal, statements about sexual orientation will no longer be a bar the military service. up on repeal, the services will no longer separate service members under don't ask don't tell. upon repeal, former service members solely discharged under don't ask don't tell may reapply for reentry. with regard to -- openly gay and lesbian at companies will be evaluated according to the same standards as all other applicants. regarding standards of conduct, upon repeal, existing standards of conduct will continue to apply to all members, regardless of sexual orientation. all are responsible for upholding those high standards.
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enforcement of service standards of conduct will continue to be sexual orientation neutral. moral and religious concerns, policies concerning service members, individual expression, and free exercise of religion already exist, and will be no changes. other personal privacy, the creation of separate bathroom facilities or living quarters based on sexual orientation is prohibited. commanders cannot physically segregate members by sexual orientation. those are the main policies that we look at, finalized, and prepared for repeal. over the next 60 days and on into review, we will move our focus to other policies that remain important to the compartment and its service members. perhaps the largest piece of this is benefits. at the present time, eligibility
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standards for military benefits remain the same as they currently are. there continue to be benefits which service members may designate a beneficiary of their own choosing. beneficiaries for life insurance, thrift savings plans, survivor benefits, etc. the defense of marriage act and existing definitions of dependence in some laws head of the extension of military benefits to sing the six couples. those examples are health care, housing allowance, transportation allowance, etc. the department will continue to study the existing benefits to determine those, if any, that should be reviewed based on policy, fiscal, legal, and feasibility considerations to give the service member of the discretion to designate a person of their own choosing as
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beneficiaries. as we move to the 60-day period and into repeal, we will continue to work closely with the services to ensure we address any questions or issues that arise. i will tell you i am very impressed with the dedication and professionalism that has been shown by the multitudes of military personnel who have worked countless hours to create training products, to the ball and run training programs, and to popre over policies. this is an example of how the services can come together to get a mission accomplished deliberately, he effectively, and efficiently. i know the good work will continue and i continue to be proud of the people who make up the military. they embody the principles we creaky reiterating throughout implementation.
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thank you very much. >> a couple questions of things that may be under consideration, but the were several people -- is charges were approved over the last several months by the airforce, and there may be others. what happens at this point to people who were in the middle of the process, but not ultimately discharge? and secondarily, the navy has initially issued some guidelines about being able to train chaplains in the deevent of same-sexed unions. has that been resolved yet? >> we may need to have mr.
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johnson,. >> good afternoon. concerning your first question, as you may know, the ninth circuit court of appeals recently decided to reimpose the stay -- lift the stay of the injunction that the district court ordered last fall, and they then modify it in some respects last week, but the modifications specifically referred to leaving in place the injunction when it comes to actual separation. at the moment, we are compl with that court order. overall, we think of you that once certification and repeal occurs, that lawsuit becomes moot. we have taken that position in court papers. at the moment, that is where we are in terms of the injunction.
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we are sensitive to the timeline that we are in here, are 60 days for repeal of this law. your second question concerns the navy chaplain community. that question is under legal review right now. there were some guidance. we received a letter from about 60 members of congress concerning the applicability doma to the guidelines, and so the guidelines -- they are under consideration right now by me and by the personnel and readiness committee. and i suspect that we will have that issue resolved before the 60-day period. >> the air force people who were in the midst of their discharges, that means they are not take the lead this charge, is that correct? >> that is correct.
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there was one that was separated. >> but three others were in the midst, said they would have to go back to their jobs and continue serving as normal, is that right? >> as far as i know. >> actual moment of repeal midnight going into september 20, or not later in the day? >> i suppose it depends how you count 60 days from today. it is september 20, and i suppose it is a legal question as to whether the law repeal goes into effect at 3:00 or whenever it was that the document was transmitted to the hilt on trends for the 20, -- to the hill on september 20. we calculated the date to be september 20. >> at that time that you guys
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did the survey, the concern was unit cohesion. in the process of training, which we have heard it going swimmingly, has there been any indication that anything different from what you saw come out, that we are past training and get past repealed, and this starts, there will be unit cohesion going all the way down to the combat units? >> as the service chiefs have received information from their leadership, their chains of command, to include combat areas over the last six months, there have been no distractions from unit cohesion that have been reported. so it has been a very, very positive. the information that has come
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from then to the leadership in this building. >> the obama administration has said they are no longer appealing challenges to doma. if doma to fall in a circuit court and only partially deemed valid and enforceable, would you have contingency plans to extend benefits to military families in those areas? >> my understanding of the administration's zig and on doma is the law, as long as it is on the books, should continue, which continue to apply it, but in court, in litigation, in suith the government has doma under doma, a strict constitutionality appliance. it is not quite that we are not
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defending the law. we have conceded that the strict scrutiny level applies. whether the administration made it takes a different legal view is up to the department of justice in consultation with the president. >> the exact question would be, if a court was to rule that and constitution, is the department prepared to extend benefits in the portion of the country where that would be the case? >> we would -- a question for the the part of justice -- when the dui in the fact concede circuit course's -- court's ruuling, and that is a question for the part of justice. there were a lot of course is going into that, and if we got a circuit court decision, i am a little out of my leak because we're talking about doma.
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if we got a circuit court decision, would be up to the the part of justice to decide whether to continue to appeal that accept a remanner or o ther. >> 2.2 million active service members, correct? >> senior civilians were not included in that number. those senior civilians were trained, so that they are familiar with the policies. >> i was told it was anywhere from 45 minutes of trading to one hour 15 minutes. is that accurate? >> that is pretty accurate. the training was made up and most people know of a one way presentation like a powerpoint presentation -- yes, i'd say
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yes, and that part of the frequently asked questions, and that is where you get the dialogue. it depends on the leadership, how they aren't present, what the level is being prepared or being trained or educated, and how long those discussions go. it could be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. >> i want to follow from hers. what were the frequently asked questions? you mentioned a number of revisions. i am curious to know which revisions they might have had the most problems with. any sensitive reaction to these provisions that you outlined? >> actually, probably their provisions were pretty straightforward because that -- they had to deal with the suckers -- sessions its operations.
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some of the others were frequently asked questions that we prepared for policies that probably were not changing, like benefits, like what chaplain's can do and what they can do and not do. it is actually toward repeal, there is probably less that has actually changed and the things that have changed. to take care of the uncertainty there, the frequently asked questions and the vignettes were allowed to try to pound of those home. >> the 2.2 million people they trained here, did they express issues, like sharing restrooms, sharing bunks? >> there were occasions when people would bring up those concerns. >> why has it been decided to
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certify before the training was completed? one of the advocacy groups is saying there next up is going to be trying to get an executive order to prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation in the military. had he been working on something like that? >> -- have you been working on something like that? >> all service members, their respective of their sexual orientation, is entitled to an environment that would prohibit their full grow the responsibility as they could reach. >> are you suggesting it does not require a an executive order? >> i believe it does not. >> why did you decide to go ahead with this before the training was completed? >> it was never set as a criteria that 100% of the force
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would be trained. a predominance of the force be trained, and that is where we are now. >> i was wondering if the repeal identified in the administrative change that could be done that would give some benefits in light of doma? >> our priority was developed the training and ensure that the force is trained, and looking at that party we realized the benefits, although important, that we wait until repealed until we decided to look into benefits, which we will do upon repeal. [unintelligible] it will be part of the same group, and it depends on the services. we always work with the services when we look at benefits for any policy, and we will use many of the members that remain from the repeal implementation team, and
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then we will use service members. >> the next two months he said the focus will be on benefits, but he said the majority of benefits will not change because of various laws. what is the universe of changeable benefits he will look at over the next few months? >> life insurance, that a member can already done to date -- designate to beneficiaries, but if this season -- and the benefits that are restricted by law. we need to review all those benefits to determine legally and fiscally which benefits and then be provided to all service members. >> do you have an example? >> legal policies where an
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individual can request legal assistance and whether or not just for the service member or can i bring in my partner and also have assistance, so that is an example. there are just some that are not by law, not by policy. >> a question about the movements issue, the argument that the ninth circuit case is moot after sedimentation. -- after implementation. can you respond to the question about this in lack of an executive order that mandates nondiscrimination. one of the concerns by people bringing the suit is that the declaratory judgment contains in the order would require the military going forward regarding people who had been discharged, regarding the separation pay, give them additional benefits
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that they do not have now that they will not be able to be guaranteed that if you think kate that judgment. -- vacate that judgment. >> that law is being repealed. as the president said, it is the last major step towards repeal. it is not a class action. it is not a far-reaching class action. it involves a named plaintiff. an issue is the constitutionality of 654. it is not about benefits. it is about 654, and congress has repealed that. in 60 days, it will be off the books. that is why we say the lawsuit should be dismissed, because the issue is moot. >> the judgment was broad and
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there are collateral effects faced by service members who were discharged under 654, and there will still have been discharged under 654, even after repeal. i mean, the half pay. the aclu has said today that they are going to be continuing with that lawsuit about separation pay. i mean, why is the outcome of the lawsuit -- it was actually more broad than what you described. >> he made my point for me. a second lawsuit was brought by different plaintiffs about separation pay. that is an issue in another case, which we will address. that case is about the constitutionality of 10 usc 654. >> is that something the repeal implementation team is looking at? >> you heard the recommendation, which does not involve the issue of separation pay.
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it is the case that service members, in respect of that sexual orientation, always have the right to go to a board for the correction of military records. >> i have a question to you all. congressional critics still maintain that the service had reservations about the repeal. they're asking the administration to release those assessments. i was wondering whether you can speak to that in in general and whether that possible releases under consideration? >> that request has been made. it has been made by people on the hill as well. it is under consideration. >> can you just fine-tune the statement made earlier about how there was unanimous support? >> it was unanimous support for implementation of repeal at the
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time that the commissions had been met. >> i think what was said was that they were unanimous in saying that their services were repaired for repeal. >> you mentioned the magic date of september 20, 2011. after that date, what are you preparing for, and the challenges? from that date, can we say that don't ask, don't tell is history? >> our objective and hope is that repeal will be as smooth as possible. this was done by an act of congress, signed into law by the president. versus as a result of litigation. so it was done in an orderly process. it took several months to implement through education training, reaching a policies, and what we believe we have done here is the create a sexual
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orientation neutral environment in which all members can operate, do their jobs, serve in their units, with dignity, professionalism, and respect. so we believe that we have done this in an orderly manner and that we can transition to a new environment where all service members, in respect of of sexual orientation, can serve. and it is our hope that there will not be continued claims, lawsuits, and so forth. orso you're not expecting, is there a progression going on that you do not want to talk about? >> like i said, it is our hope that we do not continue to face litigation in this area. >> just to clarify, are there going to be any restrictions on the world wide assignment of a gay service members, especially the countries were homosexual acts may be illegal?
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>> all service members will be treated the same, regardless of sexual orientation. when members provide assignments overseas, they are provided briefings on cultural norms of a particular country. but, no, there will be no restrictions. >> last question. >> let's go back to the service pay issue. if repeal is something the administration saw, congress approved, and the courts are prepared to work it out -- why not go back and get out service pay? isn't that an inevitable follow- up or even the logical next step? wi-fi id or resist it or not be prepared to do it already? -- why fight it? >> we have tried to treat everyone the same, and irrespective of sexual orientation. so service members can reapplying on the same terms as everybody else. that is the environment we have tried to create here. >> ok.
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we're now going to be entering into a period where we will have different families getting different benefits. is there any threat to unit cohesion? will commanders be worried that, because some people get more housing, some people get more benefits and other families will not have the same benefits, that that may cause friction in units? >> first, we will continue to follow the law. but the leaders are responsible for administrating the standards of conduct for the good order and discipline of a unit, irrespective of the sexual orientation. and as mr. johnson has said, we want to continue with the dignity, respect, and fairness for people that are in the
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military, including those who are neutral, looking at mutual sexual orientation. >> thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> president obama formally repealed the ban on gays in the military today, ending the seven tests -- 17-year policy. the repeal will take effect 60 days from today. >> you are watching c-span, bringing politics and public affairs. every morning, it is "washington journal," about the news of the day, connecting with elected officials, policy makers, and journalists. weekdays, which live coverage of the u.s. house, and weeknights, congressional hearings and policy forms. also, supreme court oral arguments put on the weekend, he could see our signature interview programs. on saturdays, "the communicators." on sunday, "newsmakers" and
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more. you can watch our programming any time at c-span.org, and you can search it on our c-span video library. c-span, washington, your weight. at public service created by america's cable companies. this weekend on "book tv," literacy, economics, humor. a few of the panels from our live coverage of the harlem book fair. and in the life and career of barack obama, senior and what do you do with your stolen moon rocks? did not try to sell them on the internet. we will talk about someone who tried to look for the complete schedule at booktv.org, and sign up for alerts. >> we visit the civil war this weekend on american history tv on c-span3. senate, we're live from the
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manassas national battlefield on the 150th anniversary of the battle of bull run, with call-in programs beginning at 11:00 a.m. eastern, including a dickinson college professor on abraham lincoln and its transformation into a wartime commander in chief. watch civil war programs throughout the weekend. a historian looks at the social, political, and military factors that led to the onset of the war. a panel of civil war historians discuss the challenges that face both the north and south as they prepared for battle. but the complete weekend schedule at c-span.org/history. at a discussion on the impact of changes in the arab nations, middle east scholars warned that continued their uprisings could have dire consequences. panelists talked about the arab uprising in the middle east and warned of the potential danger of an iran-like government as an end result of the political unrest in the region. from the woodrow wilson international center of scholars, this is one hour and
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15 minutes. >> good afternoon. thank you all for coming. my name is mike van dusen, subbing for the head of our middle east program who is at a conference in athens, greece on the middle east as we speak. this is a meeting which is sort of precisely what the wilson center does best. we bring important, most important issues, to public audiences in ways that are extremely timely and relevant. the middle east program at the center has done something like 25 meetings since its january on what has been happening throughout the middle east. those sessions have included two or three on libya. many on egypt. they have included business and
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political delegations that have come from algeria, from tunisia, and from egypt. they include public talks by two female ministers. the only woman who is serving in the transitional parliament in tunisia, who happens to have been as $0 at the woodrow wilson center six years ago, writing a book. so this is an ongoing set of programs we have, and we're very happy, midway, to come here and talk to you about it. you're going to be hearing from two senior scholars at the center. david ottaway and margot badram. and i guess that we like to think a little bit that david ottaway produce a paper last year that we published entitled
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"egypt at the to the point." some feel that that helped start things rolling in the region. david is going to talk for about eight minutes, followed by margot for about eight minutes, then we're going to open it up to all of you. again, welcome, at a thank you for coming. david -- >> good afternoon. i am going to talk to you about what you might call the counter revolution under way in the arab world. and a look at the monarchies. there are eight monarchies in the arab world. six of them in the gulf, the persian/arab gulf. and then morocco and jordan. and their reactions to the arabs bring is what i am looking at -- the arab spring is what i am
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looking at. the reactions have been quite different. i have, myself, been in the last four months in morocco, tunisia, saudi arabia, and bahrain. so i will talk a little bit and thent i saw theire a little bit about issues of development, which is in the title of the blurb they put out about this session. as i said, there are eight arab monarchies. most of them have a lot of oil or gas wealth, which gives them enormous latitude about how they react and are reacting and will continue to react to the so- called arab spring. morocco and jordan did not have either oil or gas wells, but the others do. and this has allowed them, although even morocco and jordan
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have reacted in this way, to try and deal with the unrest, first, by increasing government salaries, subsidies, keeping subsidies down, sometimes cutting the cost of staple foods. bonuses for workers. and in the case of kuwait, they just made free all basic food items for one year. [laughs] saudi arabia spent about $135 billion trying to deal with economic and social problems. so that has been the general reaction. now i will do the two extremes. the two most conservative reactionary monarchies, if you will, just happen to be the ones that are extremely important to the united states. that is saudi arabia and bahrain.
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in addition, it is purchasing $60 billion of arms from the united states over the next decade. it is quite important what happens there. it is extremely important to not only the united states but the entire world. bahrain is the home base for the u.s. sixth fleet, which is about 40 vessels and 30,000 personnel. the fleet has been there for decades. it is the base from which the navy goes out and not only deals with the gulf, but also down into the gulf of oman, towards pakistan. it is very important. these two monarchies have done everything possible to crush any
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sign or effort of reform or agitation for reform. in the case of the saudi arabia, there were quite successful in doing this. some of the liberal saudis tried to have a so-called day of raids on march 11. -- a so-called day of rage on march 11. exactly one person showed up in riyadh. that person was swamped by journalists. but 17,000 people had signed up on the facebook page to come out and participate in the day of rage. some shiites in the eastern province show that the day before and had their demonstration. but, basically, the saudis have been able to mobilize not only the threat of security forces cracking down on anybody who
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demonstrates, the got the religious establishment making any kind of demonstrations religiously forbidden. they put pressure on families to keep their kids at home. and they succeeded. in the case of bahrain, it was much more messy, and you have a shiite majority there of 70% may become a 65% to 75%. and they were on their way to probably overthrowing the monarchy their if the demonstrations had been allowed to continue. but the saudis, in late march, moved in midsummer other troops from the united arab emirates in shifts judicial the waters around bahrain to kuwait. and the crashed the uprising. particularly in the case of
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bahrain, i think the u.s. is really facing a very difficult problem, because we're for democracy, trying to promote democracy, and we are for protection and promotion of human rights. and if we follow through on those commitments and really work at this, we're very likely going to end up with a shiite- dominated government in bahrain. it is a lot closer to iran than it is saudi arabia. so this is a real dilemma for the u.s. government, for the obama administration. the state department has been working very hard on trying to get the two sides there to talk to each other and work out some compromise and some formula. the shiite opposition, they started a national dialogue, but the shiite opposition said we're not going to participate. they pulled out last week. things are very tense.
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a lot of demonstrations are still going on. the government there has practiced a kind of collective punishment on anybody who had anything to do with the demonstrations there in march. so it is still a very ugly situation. and i think it really poses a real dilemma for the united states about how far you push for human rights and democracy if the end result is going to be a government that is dominated by shiites and that is much more friendly to iran. now, morocco is kind of a happy story. the king reacted extremely quickly to the demonstrations. they started -- it was called the february 20 movement. he came out in a speech on march 9 and said we're going to reform the constitution, and we're
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going to have a really big changes. we were there when he finally delivered the constitution. i think it was june 18. and, indeed, he has really gone a long way, relatively speaking, when you're thinking of all the other monarchies in the arab world, to work is beginning to share power. -- towards beginning to share power. he has committed himself to appointing the prime minister from the party that wins elections, even if it is opposition or whoever is. that is extraordinary, when you think of what is going on in the other monarchies in the arab world. he is given to parliament much more power to enact laws and propose bills. prime minister is much stronger. he is beginning to share security issues with a national security council that has
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civilians on it. so he is definitely beginning to move. exactly how this new constitution, how it will work out on the ground, we do not know. but at least he is beginning to move, and the king of morocco is way ahead of all the monarchs of the arab world. i just want to finish on the development issue and talk a little bit about the economic problems of egypt and tunisia. they are really incredibly complicated and raise serious issues about sustaining democratic transition. in the case of egypt -- in both cases, tourism is a very important. tourism has gone way down. but what bothers me, particularly in egypt, is that a lot of the old kind of arab
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socialist status tendencies are coming back, reasserting themselves. and they want to stop the privatization of state companies. they are pressing for higher salaries. it is going to be harder to do business in that country. it is probably going to be a year before we even know if they have gone through the process of choosing a new parliament and president. it will probably be at least until early next year before we even know who the president is and what their relationship between the presidency and parliament is going to be, let alone with the economic policy of the new egypt is going to be. but whoever is in power, they're going to be under a lot of pressure from labor unions that are demanding higher salaries. they almost doubled the minimum salary in the country in the last month, so that the cost of this transition is going to be
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very expensive. fortunately, they're getting quite a bit of support from the gulf arab countries. the saudis have put in $4 billion. the united arab emirates, $3 billion. qatar is talking about $10 billion over five or 10 years. but the cash money is coming from saudi arabia and the united arab emirates, and that is important right now. in the case of tunisia -- are you going to tu going tonisia or not? business community, tourism is way down, but the textile industry is actually doing ok, and that is a big part of their business in tunisia. the main problem is, again, nobody knows what the economic policy of that country is going to be, because you have to go through elections. and then they are going to elect the constituent assembly.
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and they have got to get a new president. they have to get beyond the interim. you're talking about six or nine months before you have a government that is able to establish an economic policy. both these countries, their growth rate has gone from five or six or seven down to one. this coming year if they have any growth rate, it will be a miracle. same problem of joblessness, university graduates. the pressures are going to be on these two governments to produce jobs. the economy is floundering. so i think it is going to be really tough for these two countries in this transition period. >> hello, i am very happy to be here.
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and i will try to say something in eight minutes, which is a challenge. david and i divided the pie and he got two monarchies, and i got twot republicsgotunisia and egypt -- i got two republics, tunisia and egypt. i will focus on egypt. i have been in and out of egypt for so many decades, i hardly dare say how many. i was in tunisia last month, and i was in egypt during the revolution, the first phase. some people call it the uprising. and i left on march 9, the day after the international women's day demonstration, which turned rather nasty. so i would like -- i mean, i think i have got the good news
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in a way part of it, because there was a need for having -- obviously, toppling these dictators and moving in a more democratic direction. and also, although the economy is in very bad shape and the gross national product is going down and all that, nevertheless, the bulk of the population was not really in very good economic shape. as you know, i mean, it got started with this poor man, you know, who is putting himself on fire, and it was very symbolic of the poverty issue. and the revolution in egypt, there were many, many demonstrations before that, which were actually aimed at gaining more justice for poor workers. i just wanted to make a few
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brought comments, and we could discuss and talk things out during the discussion. but i have a fairly optimistic look at the revolutions in tunisia and egypt. but i must hasten to add that i do believe that the first year, and even the first term, the first four years after elections happen, they will be difficult. and the immediate future, things are not easy at all. but i do think that we will be, or they will be, moving in the right direction. i wanted to make a few comments about how we think about things, particularly this question of secular and religious, muslim brothers and so on. when i was in egypt, it was very interesting. because, of course, we were
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living minute-by-minute, this revolution. and i was 20 minutes from tahrir square. i did not go to the square for various regions, but it was close enough. and we were very much taken by the fact that the story was egypt. this was what it was about. it was about egypt. of course, it was about getting rid of mubarak. obviously at the end, changing the regime, but first, getting rid of him. i kept getting e-mails from here, my friends, and the cat going on about the islamist and what about -- they kept going on about the and was this -- islamist and other things, and i said, half jokingly, my god, over there, they're all obsessed with religion. over here, we're obsessed with the secular, the nation's state, composed of people of different religions. it has been very interesting for
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somebody who has lived there for several decades, and i live in and out of homes here in washington and there. the whole shifting of categories into what it means. the muslim brothers, of course, is not the muslim brothers that was established in the beginning. it is not the muslim brothers even from a lot of the mubarak years. it is constantly shifting and changing. and also, we have to look at the generational aspect. i mean, many of you probably know that many of the youth are sort of parting ways with the old generation. many of these youth or in tahrir square, and they were mingling with what we might call a more secular counterparts. often people do not meet because of the way society works. so there was a certain kind of
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bleeding and appreciation for the other, although still a lot of wariness. but i think the number islamists are much more attuned into much of what these secular young progressive youth want. also, the -- i do gender studies and always look at gender and women. the youth are very gender-mixed. i went to several meetings prior to the march 9 demonstrations, and it was women and men, both youth, male and female, and they're much more mixed in general. the elders are a male hierarchy. also what is interesting -- it is hard for us to think, what are these muslim brothers and what did they want, and the groupings within the groupings, and they formed the freedom of justice party, and how will they
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behave? they will have to compete in the democracy they say they want, but before they were always oppositional and in the resistance boat and have not had practice doing this. what they have going for them is they have a lot of support from the base, because when the government was not giving social services, these folks were given the social services, so they have a very clear base there. what i want to also say is i noticed -- and it was clear when i was in tunisia -- there is much more strict division between the secular and religious, and i see it even with my progress of france. they get the shivers if they have to use religious language, and it is much more reflecting of their french experience under colonialism. did you egyptians -- the
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egyptians were much different. there is much less clear division between the secular and religious, and people are able to use different discourses did the same defect, like human rights or social justice. they may run it through its long, they may run it through a more human international human rights filter, but there is much more sort of a leadingness. another thing that is interesting is from the religious orders, they are wanting a clear separation between religion and state, and the grand mufsti had come out and they want a firm separation of religion from the state, because the state starting with
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nasser, they appointed these folks who were always under the state. they want the separation. the muslim brothers, there are now a variety of statements coming out, but early on, the brothers were saying we want a secular state. i think that there is more of a distinction between religion and state, not that it is going to be easy to work this out, and there will be some folks that will want to mess it up, to blend it more, but we should think about it. we do not know what the terms mean any longer. they're much more awful and complex -- much more full and
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complex. the more conservative religious folks will still have to play in the democratic arena, and it is expected that the brothers -- some people think 30%, some people think 50%, and they have a lot going for them, they need to also be at 10 dead. the other issue is of course the supreme council of the armed forces, and there are folks that are very nervous about how long they will stay there and how much control they are having. so you have the army, the religious folks, and then you have the general secular scene. maybe i've used up my eight minutes and you could ask esh out any oflas
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these questions. >> thank you, margo and david. i want to make three points and an open it up to you for questions. in the case of syria, in the case of egypt, in the case of tunisia, in my view there is a little bit of that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. the regimes in those three countries that existed had ots, and when they got to the capital, they forgot their peasants roots. the gap between rich and poor and tunisian, egypt and syria became more and more obvious with the years. correction got worse and worse
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in all three cases -- corruption got worse and all three cases, and they forgot where they came from and they forgot to try to help the people where they came from. and i think that was a dynamic that played -- that is playing out in all three societies. do not lose sight of fact of this side of egypt. the population of tunisian is of cairo.f the size th cairo is close to 19 million people, 20 million people. the population of tunisia is 10 million. the military will be a strong force of what happens to egypt, or what does not happen, at least in the short term. they have not been able to focus
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on the role of the military and what it will be. the military in egypt operates like the military in pakistan. it is a state within a state, and they have their own economy and businesses, and the role of -- the revolution as it exists in egypt, the uprising as it exists, has not focused on what will be the future role that elephant in the room. the floor is open. yes. and director question of somebody. -- and direct your question to somebody. push it up on the side, i think . [unintelligible]
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the question is about yemen and why we consistently -- we talk about the arab spring, and i would like to hear a more about jordan. [unintelligible] >> david, why don't you say something about jordan and yemen. i would start on yemen, uprising there. it has been going on for about a decade. it has involved people from south yemen that are not too happy about the union of the two yemens. there are tribal this piece. it has been a longstanding conflict. david?
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>> yemen is a fascinating case of the inability of its foreign allies to make a difference. we work really hard to get their president out of there. the u.s. government did. so did the saudis and all the monarchies providing money to them, and they have not been able to, even though he is now in riyadh, recovering from a bomb explosion, and somebody could technically stop him from flying back, they do not want to do that, because they are really upset with how we dealt with mubarak and told him to go. none of us have been able to force him to step down.
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and he has got his own supporters, probably not as many as the opposition at this point, but he still has a lot of supporters, and everybody is afraid the country will be a total civil war. everybody is handling saleh and his future with kid gloves. it is not just our problem. problem. area 's in jordan, the king has got to be king. he keeps blaming the opposition for reform. he is allowing conservative elements of his society to weigh in and dominate and stop the reform of the country. over at the carnegie endowment,
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a person who was the deputy prime minister in charge of reform for three years in jordan, he came up for fall plan for reform, it was defeated. it was two or three years ago. the king has got to start being king and forced to reform. >> just on that i would be interested in whether you think the model you have, david, in an marco, where the -- in morroco, where the king keeps a finger on the defense portfolio, but has a civilian prime minister that is running the country today to think about whether that kind of model could work in jordan or could work in bahrain. >> one of the most striking things about north africa,
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compared to the rest of the arab world, is how developed political society is. there are a zillion parties in morocco. they have ngo's. algeria has trotskyite parties. it is very developed clinically. jordan -- parties exist, but they are not allowed to develop. what i am saying is the situations in their societies are different between jordan and morocco. the king has hinted at an elected prime minister, which is what morocco is doing, he has
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not said he is going to do it. he has taken the idea that somehow they could have an elected prime minister even while keeping control of the overall political system, just like the king of morocco will still do under this new constitution. -he might take some elements from the moroccan new constitution, but morocco is far ahead of jordan in terms of political development of the society. >> i was going to reinforce what you said. i was living in yemen at the end of the 1990's, and it has been so turbulent, and even within north, the tribe, this whole problem, it is all very tribal,
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and it is very difficult for anybody obviously. they have not won forced over the other, but the other thing that fascinated me is a huge number of women that work out and about on the streets, and i am in touch with some of them. so that part is actual rather cheering, but they are so up front politically. >> yemen is also in another case where a president with peasant got into a position of power and became corrupt and develop a kleptocracy with his family. >> this is for margot. he said earlier the muslim brotherhood wanted a divided government between secular and
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religious people, but he said their statements have been getting model. my question is, what do you think they want now? what you think they really want have i misunderstood you pro? what you think that means for egypt and the region in terms of secularization and modernization for the area? >> you heard me right. i think they're getting more muddied. ofre's a good source information and analysis, and i have been reading this in recent additions. there has been a lot of -- it looks like the brotherhood situation is getting more complicated, and i cannot tell of some of these folks are just sort of emphasizing the danger, part of it, and that these folks really are wanting less of a split than some of the spokespeople said during and
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right in the immediate aftermath of the uprising part of the revolution. but there are people who are getting nervous, so they may be and theyyzing theire, may not be as desirous of putting -- getting a more religious definition to the state. i personally think -- i do not that they will upset the balance of what we have now as the secular state. they will act more like the party in turkey, and a lot of people think that, because if it goes too religious, there will be a lot of problems economically, politically, and they want to get in power, and they -- i do nothin think they t to create that kind of problem,
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and i do not think they would be able to pull it off. so that is really understand the difference between their own rhetoric and what they may want, because some people seem to me too afraid. one should be vigilant and cautious, but not to exaggerate. in short, i think it is hard to read what i would come down on the side that they will definitely go with this secular state. in any case, in egypt, the family law is still religious law. there are some people who want to make its secular. there are places where people can have a trade, where you can have a family law and do not mess with the stick, but i do not think we have to worry about egypt becoming a religious state. >> after 30 years of being
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underground, it is hard all of a sudden that you're at kelly together, and a lot of this is cleaned up from different factions, and it will take time for it to call less. questions? yes, a gentleman over here and then there. >> thank you so much for coming. i am curious to know how iran is playing a part in the internal development of egypt, because after reading a lot of things about lebanon and its early development, it took a while for us to completely realize all the-happenings that were happening, and i am wondering what kind of role they're playing and how we can prevent them from actually radicalizing the state as much as possible? >> i do not thinking that that
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is possible, that iran want to play in the importance or semi- important role, and they will not radicalize each of, and i think they are distinct from it. that is my sense, and i never ever hear the i-word in egypt. there could be a danger that people are not aware of, but that i do not see on the horizon. >> david, do you want to comment on that? >> i agree. here are getting excited because former foreign minister started talking about recognizing -- re-establishing relations with tehran, which had been broken off since 1979 or 1980. people got excited about that, and this is the grit of iranian
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this is the growth of iranian influence. egypt has no diplomatic relations with iran. saudi arabia, which is -- which regards itself as iran's main problem, and vice versa, and they have all kinds of problems since the 1979 revolution, as a thematic relations with iran. so do all the gulf states. the idea that egypt was reestablish relations with iran, that does not mean that iran is penetrating egypt alcot all. >> the iranians want to take advantage of what is gone on in the middle east, but they have to be careful because they want others to have the freedom is that they will not give their own people. that is not lost on a lot of people. every one of these -- was
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striking to me is up until now, every one of these uprisings as an internal. have not been focused on external factors -- israel, arab-israeli, iran, the united states -- and a does not mean we will come soon to a point where there will be a clash, but these have been internal. they had in the justice -- indigenous roots in every one of the cases. >> touching off what you were just saying. he talked about the potential dangers of bahrain, if the majority were to take control, becoming an iranian satellite. has there been a lot of iranian influence in bahrain so far, but
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could this because they have no one else to turn to in the region who, the iranians have some religious influence in bahrain, because there are some iranians in bahrain that follow the iranian religious leaders, and they have some influence with the -- party, which caused the most trouble when their leader come back from london and joined the demonstration. they were the ones that started calling for the end of the monarchy. and that particular party, i think -- the bahrain government says it is totally in the hands of the iranians. i cannot think it is that bad. they clearly have ties with some of the iranian government people. the bahrainis, 2/3 of bahraini
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shiites are arabs, they are not persian. we thought their main opposition party the more moderate one, which is demanding a majority government so they can rul.e they will tell you that this is a sort of a fabrication on the bahraini government and say they are in the hands of the iranians. i think the iranians will have some influence, and i do not think it is going to become, as you were saying, a satellite, but i think it will take its distance from saudi arabia, after being invaded by saudi arabia to keep the -- so it
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certainly will be a more friendly stake to iran. that will turn into overtime to be a real problem for saudi arabia because there is a 16- mile cause of it annexed bahrain the eastern province, and that that ishe oil is, and where all the saudi shiites are. in the long run i thinking it will definitely and the tilting towards iran. >> unfortunately for saudi arabia, bahrain is a domestic political issue, and it is a red line for them, i think. i just wish the saudis were willing to give a little bit of breathing room let something be
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worked out on the island, and i do think the saudis are there yet because they see the domestic implications of it. david, right acros? the lady behind. genderre talking about among the youth in egypt, who was involved in a revolution, and there have been a lot of women who were very vocal in january, and the past two months, but i was also reading about the recent proposal of the election changes, the 64 women who had seats reserved now. each party has to have one woman on the top half of their list. there are changes, and a lot seems to be up for grabs that made before have then -- what i am trying to say as to what extent you see a threat of backtracking on women's rights in egypt and tunisia, women have
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had a protective role in life since the 1960's? is the possibility that maybe these women who have been very involved in the revolution thus far have been signed -- could be sidelined in the future, when they come the hard positions? >> yes. well, of course, right after the 18 days when mubarak left, within a few weeks when the constitutional committee or form, there were no women on it, and the bad news could be good news because it alerted people, women very quickly, that it was not going to be an easy road ahead. and i was there at this time, and there were many meetings held, especially in the law faculties, cairo university and elsewhere,, and a person who is
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on the supreme court, came to these meetings, and they had very impressive woman professor of law activists. because there is a fairly well- developed civil society of women's organizations and gender-based organizations and human rights, they could swing heavily into action, and they had much, much more space than had ever happened under mubarak. it was all dignified and very difficult, and they have a long history of feminist agitation unbroken. i could see that generations from the great elder ladies all the way, and we were all coming together, and it was pretty exciting, and women are in all professions in terms of government employees. more women in government than
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men, and so on. people are concerned, and also, the president would have to be, according to those amendments, would be a man, the way it was written, his mother and so on would have to be born in egypt. i actually think people are fairly in good shape, and because of the use our gender mix, a -- the youth are gender mix, that is a good point. indonesia, there is a policy where there has to be he will -- in the tunisian, there's a policy where there has to be equal numbers of men and women, and this is not the case in egypt, so there will be a fight. i'm pretty optimistic that it is going to work out. and also, because there was something called islamic feminism, which is a discourse
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ready made for people who need to use it with religious folks, a discourse of gender equality, social justice, and human rights, so if you need to run it through that filter, it is there. they did not have that sometime ago, and those folks will be effective on all sorts of fronts. i am positive, and also, i was there in the square on march 8, and it was the first time i saw the destruction of the day in the square and then as these of these funds -- and the nastiness of these thugs. some of these folks were burned about women having their rights. i think there is a lot of the ability to fight backs now. >> the gentleman in the back. >> would either one of you speak
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a little bit about syria? >> mike is a specialist in syria. >> very small minority that control top levels of the army and the security forces and and they have real problems now, as you can see, because of the sustained rebelion. and they made a mistake. the government has made a mistake to have the thugs attacking these people who are mostly sunni. the -- it has now threatend to turn into a sectarian battle.
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and no way they can possibly win when they are only 12% of the population. but it's an indication of a growing -- well, desperation at the worst, confusion at the least by the government there about how to deal with these unending demonstrations that are getting bigger and really threatens their rule. >> turkey has tried hard to play a constructive role bringing them along and bashir has turned his nose up at the turks and they are ticked off. my commevent earlier about -- -- comment earlier about losing their roots and forgetting about where they came from, it was a major point of an international
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crisis point group study that was done recently in what was happening in syria. and the corruption that has come. they have lost an extreme amount of legitimacy in the last two months and i don't think you get that back very easily, very quickly. it is true that an effective but leaderless opposition without too many leaders, i mean being unorganized groups in 10 different towns -- it can wear on, but the economy again is tanking as this happens. and turkey -- europe in effect turned their back on the turks decided their major diplomatic
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offensive was going to be strengthen their ties with their neighbors and strengthen their presence throughout the middle east including places like libya. and the turks put a big investment into trade in trying to bring them along and that's all coming unhinged right now and i have no idea where it will be a month from now. and i hope we don't do the natural thing, which often happens in this town, frankly, which is to withdraw our ambassador and kick their ambassador out, because we have to keep talking even if they won't listen. right now, they aren't listening. yeah? >> this question is for dr.
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ottaway. you said that with egypt, saudi arabia, the united arab emirates and qatar are sending money to keep the egyptian economy afloat. what does that mean for the future of the egyptian revolution and the government? what will happen in that area because of this? >> well, the saudis have a ton of money. their reserves are like $500 billion. so they can continue -- they are giving $4.5 billion. they have plenty of money to help them get over this transition. i think the saudi attitude towards what's going on in egypt is profoundly ambiguous because they're not interested in having a democracy in saudi arabia.
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on the other hand, they do want stability in egypt and i think they want the military to become the stabilizing force in egypt. and -- [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> we take you to the white house for a briefing with president obama. >> i got a call about a half hour ago from speaker boehner, who indicated he is going to be walking away from the negotiations that we have been engaged in with the white house for a big deficit reduction and deficit reduction package. i would like to give you insight into where we were and why i think that we should have moved forward with a big deal. essentially what we had offered speaker boehner was over $1 trillion in cuts to discretionary spending, both
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domestic and defense. we then offered additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs, medicare, medicaid, social security. we believed it was possible to shape those in a way that preserved the integrity of the system, made them available to the next generation and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way. in addition, what we sought was receive news, but actually less than what the gang of six signed off on. you had a bipartisan group of senators, including republican ledership in the senate calling for what effectively was about $2 trillion above the republican baseline that they have been working off of. what we said was, give us $1.2
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trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes or tax rates, but simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base. let me reiterate we were offering. we were offering a deal that called for as much discretionary savings as the gang of six. we were calling for taxes that were less than what the gang of six had proposed and we were calling for modifications to entitlement programs that would have saved just as much over the 10-year window.
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in other words, this was an extraordinarily fair deal. if it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue. but in the interests of being serious about deficit reduction, i was willing to take a lot of heat from my party, and i spoke to democratic leaders yesterday and although they didn't sign off on a plan, they were willing to engage in serious negotiations despite a lot of heat from a lot of interest groups around the country in order to make sure that we actually dealt with this problem. it is hard to understand why speaker boehner would walk away from this kind of deal, and frankly, if you look at the commentary out there, there are a lot of republicans who are puzzled as to why it couldn't get done. there are a lot of republican
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voters out there who are puzzled why it couldn't get done, because the vast majority of the people believe we should have a balanced approach. now if you do not have any revenues, as the most recent republican plan that's been put forward in the house and senate proposed, if you have no revenues at all, what that means is more of a burden on seniors, more drastic, more drastic cuts to research, a bigger burden on services that are going to middle-class families all across the country and essentially asks nothing of corporate jet owners, asks nothing of oil and gas companies, asks nothing from folks like me who have done extremely well and can afford to
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do a little bit more. in other words, if you don't have revenues, the entire thing ends up being tilted on the poor and middle-class families and the majority of americans don't agree on that approach. so here's what we're going to do. we have now run out of time. i told speaker boehner, i have told democratic leader nancy pelosi. i have told harry reid and mitch mcconnell that i want them here at 11:00 tomorrow. we have run out of time and they are going to have to explain to me how it is that we are going to avoid dault. and they can come up with any plans that they want and bring them up here and we will work on them. the only bottom line that i have is we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013.
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and the reason for it is that we have now seen how difficult it is to get any kind of deal done. the economy is already weakened. and the notion that five or six or eight months from now we will be in a better position to try and solve this problem makes no sense. in addition, if we can't come up with a serious plan for deficit and debt reduction and all we are doing is extending the debt ceiling for six, seven months, the possibility of downgrading u.s. credit are increased and that will be an additional cloud over the economy and make it more difficult for us and more difficult for businesses to create jobs that the american people so desperately need. so they will come down here at 11:00 tomorrow. i expect them to have an answer
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how they intend to get this thing done over the course of the next week. the american people expect action. i continue to believe that a package that is balanced and actually has serious debt and deficit reduction is the right way to go. and the american people, i think, are fed up with political posturing and an inability for politicians to take responsible action as opposed to dodge their responsibilities. with that, i take some questions. ben. >> you said you want the leaders to give you an answer about the path forward. what is your answer about the path forward? which path do you prefer? what does it say about your relationship with speaker boehner? >> well, with respect to my relationship with speaker boehner. we have had a cordial
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relationship and intense negotiations and i will have my team brief you as to how these negotiations proceeded. up until sometime earlier today when i couldn't get a phone call returned, my expectation was that speaker boehner was going to be willing to go to his caucus and ask them to do the tough thing, but the right thing. i think it has proven difficult for speaker boehner to do that. i have been left at the altar now a couple of times. one of the questions that the republican party is going to have to ask itself is can they say yes to anything. can they say yes to anything. i mean keep in mind if the republican party that has said that the single most important thing facing our country is deficits and debts, we now put forward a package that would
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significantly cut deficits and debt. it would be the biggest debt reduction package that we have seen in a very long time. and it's accomplished without raising individual tax rates. it's accomplished in a way that's compatible with the no tax breaks that a whole bunch of these folks signed on to because we were mindful they boxed themselves in and we were trying to find a way to generate revenues in a way that did not put them in a bad spot. so the question is, what can you say yes to. now, if their only answer is what they have presented, which is a package that would effectively require massive cuts to social security, to medicare, to domestic spending with no revenues whatsoever, not asking anything from the wealthiest in this country or corporations
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that have been making record profits, if that's their only answer, then it's going to be pretty difficult for us to figure out where to go because the fact of the matter is that's what the american people are looking for, some compromise, some willingness to put partisanship aside, some willingness to ignore talk radio or ignore activists in our respective bases and do the right thing. and to their credit, nancy pelosi, harry reid, the democratic leadership, they sure did not like the plan that we were proposing to boehner. but they were at least willing to engage in a conversation because they understood how important it is for us to actually solve this problem. and so far, i have not seen the capacity of the house republicans in particular to
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make those tough decisions. and so then the question then becomes, where's the leadership or alternatively, how serious are you about debt and deficit reduction, or do you simply want it as a campaign ploy going into the next election. in terms of where we go next, here's the one thing we have to do. at minimum, we have to increase the debt ceiling -- at minimum. i think we need to do more than that. but as i have said before, republican mcconnell in the senate put forward a plan that said he's going to give me the responsibility to raise the debt ceiling. that way, folks in congress can vote against it, but at least it gets done. i'm willing to take the responsibility. that's my job. so if they want to give me the responsibility to do it, i'm happy to do it. but what we're not going to do
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is to continue to play games and string this along for another eight, nine months and then have to go through this whole exercise all over again. that, we're not going to do. jeff. >> can you assure the american people they will get their social security checks on august 3, and if not, who's to blame? >> when it comes to all the checks, not just social security, veterans, people with dissbilities -- disabilities, 70 million checks are sent out each month, if we default, we have to make adjustments and i'm consulting with secretary geithner about what the consequences would be. we should not even be in that kind of scenario. and if congress, and in particular, the house
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republicans, are not willing to make sure that we avoid default, then i think it's fair to say they would have to take responsibility for whatever problems arise in those payments, because let me repeat. i'm not interested in finger pointing or blame. but i just want the facts to speak for themselves. we have put forward a plan that is more generous to republican concerns than a bipartisan plan that was supported by a number of republican senators, including at least one that is in republican leadership in the senate. now, i'll leave it up to the american people to make a determination as to how fair that is, and if the leadership cannot come to an agreement in terms of how we move forward,
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then i think they will hold all of us accountable. but that shouldn't even be an option. i'm getting letters from people who write me and say, at the end of every month, i have to skip meals, senior citizens on social security who are just hanging on by a thread. folks who have severe disabilities who are desperate every single month to try and figure out how they are going to make ends meet. but it's not just those folks, you've got business contractors who are providing services to the federal government who have to wonder if he is going to get paid and what it will do to their payrolls. you have a huge number of people who one way or another interact with the federal government. even if you don't, even if you
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are not a recipient of social security, or a veteran, imagine what that does to the economy when 70 million checks are put at risk. i mean, if you are a business out there, that is not going to be good for economic growth. and that's the number one concern of the american people. so we've got to get it done. it's not an option. >> do you have a degree of confidence? >> i'm confident simply because i cannot believe congress would end up being that irresponsible that they would not send a package that avoids a self-inflicted wound to the economy at a time when things are so difficult. >> scott. >> can you explain why you are offering a deal that was more generous than the gang of six which you seemed to be embracing on tuesday. >> because what had become
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apparent was that speaker boehner had some difficulty in his caucus. there is a group in his caucus that actually think default would be ok and have said they would not vote for increasing the debt ceiling under any circumstances. i understand how they get themselves stired up and the sharp ideological lines that they have drawn. and ultimately my responsibility is to make sure that we avoid extraordinary difficulties to the american people and american businesses. and so, unfortunately, when you are in these negotiations, you don't get 100% of what you want, you may not even get 60% or 70% of what you want, but i was willing to try to persuade democratic leadership as well as
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democratic members of congress that even a deal that is not as balanced as i think it should be is better than no deal at all. and i was willing to persuade democrats that getting a handle on debt and deficit reduction is important to democrats just as much as it's important to republicans. and frankly, a lot of democrats are persuaded by that. as i said in the last press conference, if you are a progressive, you should want to get our fiscal house in order, because once we do, it allows us to have a serious conversation about the investments we need to make, like infrastructure, like rebuilding our roads, bridges and airports, like investing more in college education, like making sure we are focused on the kinds of research and technology that is going to help us win the future. it is a lot easier to do that when we get our fiscal house in
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order. that is an argument i was willing to make to a lot of skeptical democrats, as you saw yesterday. but ultimately that's what we should expect from our leaders, and if this was easy, it would have already been done. i think what a lot of the lot of the american people are so disappointed by is this sense that all the talk about responsibility, all the talk about the next generation, all the talk about making sacrifices that when it comes to actually doing something difficult, folks walk away. last point i'll make here -- i mean, i have gone out of my way to say that both parties have to make compromises. i think this whole episode has indicated the owe degree to which a democratic president has been willing to make some tough
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compromises. when you guys go out there and write your stories, this is not a situation where somehow this was the usual food fight between democrats and republicans. a lot of democrats stepped up. in ways that were not advantageous politically. so we have shown ourselves willing to do the tough stuff. on an issue that republicans ran on. nora. >> mr. president, there seems to be an extraordinary breakdown of trust involved here. and i wonder if you could address what we are hearing from republicans was that there was a framework and a deal that was with your chief of staff and treasury secretary about a certain number of revenues that the republicans agreed to and you brought that to your party
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and give us an example of where the goal line is what has led to this breakdown in trust. >> we'll walk you through this process. what this came down to was that there doesn't seem to be a exace it for them to say -- capacity for them to say yes. what is absolutely true is, we wanted more revenue as they initially offered. as you will see, the spending cuts that we were prepared to engage in were at least as significant as the spending cuts that you have seen in a whole range of bipartisan proposals and we had basically agreed within $10 billion, $20 billion, we were within that range.
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so that wasn't the reason this thing broke down. we were consistent in saying that it was going to be important for us to have at least enough revenue that we could protect current beneficiaries of social security, for example, or current beneficiaries of medicare, that we weren't slashing medicaid so sharply that states suddenly were going to have to throw people off the health care rolls. we were consistent in that. i want to be clear. i'm not suggesting that we had an agreement that was siped, sealed and delivered. the parties were still apart as recently as yesterday. but when you look at the overall pack acknowledge, there is no -- package, there is no changing in the goal posts. we are willing to make the tough cuts and we are willing to take on the heat for those difficult cuts, but that there's got to be some balance in the process. what i have said publicly is the same thing i have said
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privately, and i have done that consistently. now with respect to this breakdown in trust, i think that we have operated above board consistently. there haven't been any surprises. i think the challenge really has to do with the seeming inability, particularly in the house of representatives, to arrive at any kind of position that compromises any of their ideological preferences. none. and you have heard it. i'm not making this up. i think there are a number of members of that caucus have been very clear about that. >> they weren't even willing to go with revenues apparently. >> absolutely. and again, you'll see this from the description of the deal,
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essentially, what they agreed to give on is to get back to a baseline -- this starts getting technical, but there were $800 billion in revenue that were going to be available. and what we said was, when you've got a ratio of $4 in cuts to $1 of revenue, that's pretty hard to stomach. and it's important to make sure that whatever additional revenue is in there covers the amount of money that's being taken out of entitlement programs. that's only fair. if i'm saying to future recipients of social security or medicare that you are going to have to make some adjustments, it's important that we are willing to make some adjustments when it comes to corporate jet owners or oil and gas producers or people are making millions or
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billions of dollars. wendell. he's not here. is leslie here? >> you said that your bottom line in the big deal is not going to happen. are you going to be willing to go back to just to raising the debt ceiling? >> well, i think i have been consistently saying here in this press room and everywhere it is very important for us to raise the debt ceiling. we don't have an option on that. so if that's the best that congress can do, then i will say an extension of the debt ceiling that takes us through 2013. i don't think that's enough. i think we should do